Debunking Common Myths About Patient Payments
Take a moment and think about your practice. Do you have outstanding payments you’re waiting for patients to pay? Is there a list of bills heading toward healthcare collections? Are you sure that there isn’t a way for you to get out of this mess?
Chances are a couple of those statements resonated with you. If your healthcare organization is waiting on patient payments, you’re not alone. We’re going to debunk some common myths about these payments and get you on your way to bringing in that revenue — quickly.
6 Common Patient Payment Myths
- Patients Only Want Paper Statements
False. The more ways you can send financial information to your patients, the better. Not everyone wants to receive information the same way (but we’ll get into that a little more later), and if you want to communicate effectively with everyone, it’s best to use multiple methods.
- Patients Don’t Want to Discuss Money or Pay Upfront
This belief is becoming less true every day, it seems. With more and more of a push toward cost transparency in the healthcare space, patients are willing and even eager to talk about finances while they’re at the office. This certainly depends based on your exact situation, but openly discussing bills and patient payments can actually improve the patient experience.
- Healthcare Collections Are Too Much Work
It’s a common misconception that collections takes too much time, energy or personnel. In reality, there are many different methods of collections available now, so you can certainly find one that meets your organization’s unique needs. Whether you want to send paper statements or have staff making phone calls in their downtime, you can find a way to recover that outstanding revenue. There are even digital engagement platforms, like PatientBond, that offer automatic payment reminders in a way that effectively motivates individual patients to pay.
- Millennials Will Only Pay Online — and They’re the Only Ones Who Want To
It’s time to stop discounting your older patients. In fact, more than half of patients older than age 40 are ready to pay bills online. Whether they are tech-savvy themselves or they have someone helping them, older patients are often open to paying online.
If you’re still skeptical and think that your patients aren’t ready, consider looking at PatientBond’s psychographic segmentation model. With a short quiz, you can determine to which of the five segments your patients belong. This information can then help you understand how they want to be sent payment reminders and how they want to pay.
For instance, a Balance Seeker, which is mindfully proactive on their health, is statistically more likely to pay their bill with an HSA account than a Direction Taker, who sees their doctor as their most credible health source. There are some Direction Takers that pay with an HSA, but by being more thoughtful on your who your audience is, you’re able to better pinpoint their payment preferences.
By reaching out to them in their preferred way, you’ll increase their chances of responding.
- Patients Don’t Want Automation
Let’s face it — automation is a part of life now. We interact with so many businesses online that we’re used to being put in a marketing funnel, receiving scheduled emails and reading pre-planned posts. Bringing automated payment reminders and messaging into your practice is a great way to increase the likelihood of receiving payments and improving the care you provide.
- We Have to Wait Until Bills are Far Past Due
This might be one of the most destructive myths. If you wait until a payment is months past due before reaching out, you’ll be doing your organization a disservice. The longer you wait after a patient receives care, the more likely they are to forget about their visit or their payment. By following up shortly after, you can bring in the revenue more quickly and easily.
PatientBond’s digital engagement platform, combined with the proven psychographic segmentation model, is a convenient and effective way to improve healthcare collections. And practices that have used the platform have reported a 55% increase in the digital engagement rate. They’ve also increased their daily outstanding balance collection rate by four times.
If you’re looking to improve your patient payment process in a way that respects and relies on the patient’s preferences, consider the PatientBond digital engagement platform. Save costs, time and personnel by automating your reminders and skipping costly collections agencies.
For more on how our psychographic-powered digital engagement platform and how it maximizes patient payment collections, download our case study.