Healthcare providers know it has become more difficult to collect patient payments. Rising deductibles have left patients responsible for more of their healthcare finances. The key to collecting more from patients might be in how you process payments. If you haven’t invested in a healthcare payment processing solution that allows for automated billing plans, it might be time to consider making the switch.
Here will explore some ways that a healthcare payment processing solution could solve patient bad debt for good.
Best Practices for Recurring Healthcare Payment Processing
1. Require patients to pay at least a portion of their bill upfront.
It’s a bad habit to get into to allow payment plans to turn into a way of putting off payment altogether. Encourage patients to make payment for at least a portion of their bill at the time of service. That amount can be determined based on your practice needs and average patient bill size. For example, if an average bill size for your practice is $500, you may require patients to pay $100 at the time of service. Then you can work with your patients to set up the payment plan with details such as length of terms and minimum amount due.
Tip: Storing a patient’s financial information in a secure system enables you to automate monthly payment plans.
2. Make your financial policies clear.
Healthcare payment policies should be clearly posted and enforced for both staff and patients. If patients come to your practice and are not informed about your financial policies upfront, they could be met with frustration later when you hand them a huge bill–especially with so much confusion around what patients owe thanks to complex healthcare plans.
End the confusion and clearly communicate your practice’s financial policies. Explain to patients that they have the option of setting up a recurring payment plan if they cannot meet the full balance at the time of service. This hits two birds with one stone: patients appreciate the convenience and understanding you have given them, and you collect more because it is easier for patients to fully pay their balances.
3. Optimize patient payment plan tools and processes.
The success of your patient payment plans has a lot to do with the processes you use to collect from patients. This means taking a look at your credit card processing system to ensure it is capable of handling a high volume of automated payment plans. Reach out to your vendor to make sure you can sustain patient payment plans and scale with growth.
To collect more from patients in this increasingly volatile financial landscape, it takes an assessment and most likely restructuring of your current strategies. Healthcare payment processing is more complicated than most industries, because consumers expect to be treated even if they can’t pay (at the time of service or maybe ever). To turn this thought process around, implement a financial solution that can automate the patient payment process.