Self Pay Collections Money That is Rightfully Yours, Part 2
The stats presented here and in Part 1 of this series on the subject distinctly illustrate the need for providers like you to develop a sound patient collections strategy.
- 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
These numbers are startling, and will likely get worse if you don’t aggressively pursue the self pay money that is, as our title suggests, rightfully yours.
Here are some more proven steps to help you develop a winning self pay collections strategy.
Offer your patients structure
We’ve found that 15% of a provider’s payments come from a payment plan strategy, so if you’re not already offering your patients this option, you should. It should be a plan that’s fair and reasonable for your patients, but it should also meet the policies you’ve put in place to ensure the financial commitments of your organization. A typical example of a situation to avoid might be one in which a patient is granted a multi-year, non-interest-bearing payment plan. Such a plan would cost more to administer than the potential amount to be collected. The point? Make sure the agreement makes sense for you and your patient.
Under certain circumstances where the patient is uninsured or underinsured, you might consider offering a discount. As common sense would tell you, it’s better to get paid some of what is owed than none at all.
Provide the option of online payment
Catering to your patients’ preferences regarding payment is a good idea, and today many patients, young and old, are used to online transactions. Giving them options that suit their preferences will hasten payment and reduce your associated administrative costs. It’s also a good idea to offer email or text notifications regarding the status of their balances and when payments are coming due.
These steps from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series are not only advisable for getting the money that is owed to you, but they’re also a great way to build trust and goodwill in your relationships with your patients.
As we’ve said repeatedly over the years, “Patient care doesn’t end at your exit door.”