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How to Lose a Patient in 10 Ways

In the 2000s flick, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” Matthew McConaughey’s character bets his colleagues he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Meanwhile Kate Hudson’s character accepts a magazine writing assignment and a bet with her boss that she can lose a guy in 10 days. As you’d expect, hilarity ensues as both characters meet, manipulate each other, and then actually fall in love.

Truth is, when it comes to patients, it’s much easier to lose a patient than gain one. Let’s take a look at 10 ways a practice can lose a patient, and some solutions to fix those issues in order to retain your existing – or even gain new – patients.

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Without further ado, here are 10 surefire ways to make a patient say sayonara:

  1. Use snail mail. Patients today want electronic statements, which are more efficient, more effective and less costly.
  2. Give patients multiple, confusing statements. Price transparency and automated, patient-driven workflows facilitate more on time payments, increasing both patient satisfaction and your revenue.
  3. Be slow to respond to questions on balances due. Patients take longer than they think – and longer than organizations like – to pay their balances due, oftentimes because they don’t understand what they owe after their insurance kicks in.
  4. Keep billing in the back office. With patients now responsible for more of their healthcare bill, you can gain key efficiencies by having the front-office share more of the responsibility for collecting balances and payments due.
  5. Be unclear about what patients owe. Providing a ball-park estimate helps patients plan and budget appropriately, so they can take care of their balance. An estimation solution can make that simple, while helping your organization collect more from patients, faster and with less effort.
  6. Make patients update their info every time they come in the office. There are now a plethora of options that enable patients to update their info electronically – online before their visit or in the office via kiosks or tablets before being seen by their physician.
  7. Only offer antiquated methods for bill payment. Give your patients plenty of patient payment options, including online bill pay, automated payment plans, and keeping a credit card on file so they can pay when and where it’s convenient for them.
  8. Keep staff in the dark when it comes to claims processing. Claims management solutions and a great claims clearinghouse gives teams the insight needed at the right time to reduce denials and complete claims faster.
  9. Assume your teams can manage with just a little training. Comprehensive, hands-on training – and cross-training – will empower your teams to deliver top performance and maintain staff loyalty.
  10. Think “we don’t need patient billing technology.” Today’s revenue cycle can be highly automated, giving your practice the ability to run more efficient operations, more effective teams and a better bottom line.

For more information about where healthcare organizations can improve billing to bolster patient satisfaction and meet patient demand, download our 2017 Patient Payment Check-Up™ survey report.

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