The main thing that keeps any medical firm running is billing. Unfortunately, new equipment, better doctors, and skilled nurses don’t come for free- so billing is a crucial player. Although medical debt is high, and a lot of people aren’t paying their dues, it is possible to go about getting payments in a humane way that will have your patients glad to see you again.
Here are some best practices for your practice.
1- Be Upfront
Make it clear to your patients what they’re going to owe. Don’t beat around the bush, or joke that insurance will cover it. Give them the numbers. Although you may fear this will scare patients away or possibly get them to shop around- don’t overthink it. A patient who knows the price upfront is more likely to pay on time than a patient who’s now anxious because they had a large bill sprung on them.
When it comes to sending out bills, electronically or physically, itemize everything and let them see why they’re paying what they’re paying. If a patient has questions, have someone take the time to go over the pricing. Transparency is king and will make sure patients come back to you for everything.
2- Try Automation
A rising number of hospitals and medical firms are charging patients ahead of appointments. By setting up online portals for meetings, they charge first and help second. Although things may seem to go smoothly for this model, it’s hard to tell how it’ll go with it being so new.
Another billing idea a lot of firms are going for is automating billing after the fact. This practice means using the patient’s gathered information and contacting them afterward for invoices. This tool can be handy because it allows you to reach a customer multiple times if they’re not responding. Unfortunately, doing this by yourself in a small medical firm can be overwhelming, so many turn to professional billing solutions to get the job done.
3- Be Steadfast
Although times are hard, and people are holding on tightly to what money they have- you can’t stop trying to charge just because of this. Let the customers know, by letter, call, or email, that their payments will still get expected. Be clear on what services you did for them, and keep your tone overall kind and patient.
You obviously can’t run a pharmaceutical firm of any kind without money to keep it going; your patients will recognize that paying their bill is vital.
If you still can’t get a response after months of trying to be considerate, it’s time to think about a medical collection agency. These will buy the debt off of your hospitals’ hands, but may, unfortunately, sever the patient’s communication with you. Passing it on to a collections agency should only be seen as a last-ditch effort.
Your patients rely on your ability to communicate with them, and in turn, they keep your business alive! Treat them well, and they’ll stay with your medical firm, for help, for their whole lives.