Self Pay Collections Money That is Rightfully Yours, Part 1
Some interesting statistics for you regarding self pay collections:
- According to the US Census Bureau, 49.9 million people are uninsured
- The number of people who are underinsured has risen to 25 million in the past four years (a 60% increase)
- Your chances of getting paid by patients decreases by as much as 30% for every 30 days an account ages
- By the fourth statement, the chance of a patient paying off their account dwindle to as little as 6%
- For every dollar you bill a patient, nearly 50 cents will go uncollected
With an ever-increasing portion of your revenue coming directly from patients, stats like these illustrate how important it is to develop and maintain an effective collections strategy. Many organizations think they’re doing an adequate job, yet the numbers above make it clear that more can and must be done if you’re going to collect money that’s rightfully yours. That being said, we understand it’s not always easy to know where to begin when it comes to developing a sound self pay collections strategy.
Here are some proven steps to help you toward that goal.
Communication is everything
Sending statements and leaving it there, as many providers do, is unacceptable. It’s been proven that continuously communicating with patients significantly improves your chances of collecting the money they owe you. Oftentimes patients simply don’t understand certain aspects of their bills and become overwhelmed. By educating them about the various aspects of their charges and inviting them to ask questions, you’ll knock down the wall they’ve put up between you and your chances of collecting are much stronger.
March to the drumbeat of consistent follow up
After your statements are sent, follow an established sequence of consistent outreach. Remember, for every 30 days that pass, your chances of collecting drop by as much as 50%. Remain vigilant in your follow-up contact with your patients, perhaps through an orchestrated calling campaign.
New predictive dialing technology is helping many providers benefit from thousands of account touches per day, versus less than 100 on average by traditional manual dialing methods. This improved technology coupled with the staff from an experienced revenue cycle management firm, can put real people in touch with your patients (versus an automated recording) and improve your chances of resolving outstanding financial commitments significantly. The personal, caring approach of a real individual will also go a long way toward provider-patient goodwill.
Feel free to check out Part 2 and Part 3 of this series.
Written by esteemed author Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC, this informative white paper will provide you with solid information to help you improve the way you collect from your patients.