Most patients want to make their medical healthcare payments on time – however, some of these payments often arrive later than their expected dates. Sometimes patients might not make their payments until those payments have moved on to collections, which leads to additional fees for the practice.
What are the actual reasons behind the struggles with collections? Let’s have a look below:
Practices are often weighed down due to a need for more professional medical billing services. Unfortunately, this involves outdated billing and collection practices that have yet to be modernized with the customers’ changing needs.
For medical practitioners looking to get more patients on board, and patients who pay their bills on time, it might be the ideal window to update such practices and even go for outsourced medical billing services. It is time for medical practitioners to bring their billing and collections practices in line with their patient’s expectations.
This is important for patients and medical practitioners, as not updating the billing practices often leads to overdue bills, an erratic cash flow, and lagging revenue cycles. While you attempt to figure out how to improve collections – below are three things that all medical service providers must consider:
1. Invoices by mail
The terminology snail mail has existed for a reason – the paper bills or invoices sent over the traditional mail through the postal services have never been the best or most efficient way to remind patients to oblige to their payments. For medical practitioners still using these methods, the delayed payments can be attributed to various factors, including delivery delays, misplaced medical bills, or something as common as not finding the proper stamp.
Many people now rely on smart devices such as phones, computers, laptops, and tablets for efficiently accessing critical information and subsequent bill payments. These expectations extend to what patients/clients expect from their medical service providers. Getting timely reminders for paying medical bills via email or text has become a far more reliable option. Additionally, practitioners must consider adopting easy online payment options over traditional means of payment. By doing so, medical practices can work to facilitate their clients to make secure payments over the internet and then swiftly receive digital invoices without having to worry about any paperwork.
2. Payment reminders
Reminding patients to make timely payments seems like a prominent mainstream practice, but it is often the best way to go about things. Planning such appointments over digital channels is ideal; however, it might set a precedent that payment options are also being offered on digital channels. This makes more sense in the longer run, as digital channels are seen to be more efficient compared to older/traditional modes of payment.
Additionally, these reminders must be sent promptly to ensure patients receive these on time. When combined with digital payment options, such reminders will improve A/R while also increasing the chances of your medical practice being paid timely.
3. Suitability of payment opportunities
Medical billing services often present the best ways for your practice to get paid timely while offering convenience to your patients. The improved comfort of payment channels/options increases patients’ chances of making their payments on time.
The payment channels that take longer or involve more complex steps significantly reduce the chances of getting payments on time. In comparison, online payments are much more convenient compared to traditional payment methods. With only a few clicks, your patients can pay their medical bills quickly and with increased convenience.
Maintaining medical practices was considerably easier than today. Then, medical practitioners had clear-cut objectives, including getting certified, offering excellent patient care, managing overhead, and creating stronger patient relationships.
With the beginning of the 21st century, everything has become more complex. These days, electronic health records are used to report performance, ensure compliance with varying treatment protocols and care costs, and coordinate with the medical practice staff.
Over-the-top excessive reporting, documentation, and regulations make it much more difficult for a medical practice to succeed.
1. Plan of Success for medical practices
While devising a plan for success, it is vital to start by evaluating the strengths of your practice and its weaknesses. Consider the long-term goals- enhancing patient relationships, boosting revenue, or strengthening operations and workflow – and then only you can create strategies to achieve all of these goals.
2. Medical practitioners and financials
For properly assessing the medical practices, determine whether these strategies are aiding in achieving your objectives – the next step is to evaluate the financials.
Consider profit/loss, net assets, revenue, and overhead for financials. Then, look to see if there are any types of shortcomings, where these shortcomings take place, and how these can be worked to be improved.
So, are you starting to lose patience? Or is a competitor’s practice becoming stronger? Kick off a marketing campaign to recover lost revenue and patients, budget to control costs, and start a thorough market research to find out where you are lacking and what you can do or strategies you can implement to avoid all these pitfalls.
3. Provider productivity
Thirdly, the next step is to measure provider productivity and how many patients each provider can attend in a specific period. For example, it is vital to measure the time it takes for each provider to documents, or the time spent conversing with patients, etc. now compare the productivity level of the top performers with that of the lowest performer, and urge them to devise strategies for enhancing productivity, offer optimal patient care, and boost motivation.
4. Gauging human resources
The final step is evaluating the human resources and their work morale – a happy team translates to meaningful and successful practice. Your team’s morale will have a straight impact on the customer service they offer to patients. Plus, it is vital to consider the team’s feedback for boosting employee and practice satisfaction. It is essential to consider the suggestions mentioned above and plan accordingly.
It is time to go for medical billing services if you want to boost your practice’s revenue and improve customer satisfaction while improving collections. Outsourcing medical billing not only helps you streamline practice collections but also helps build customer relationships, resulting in boosted revenue.
Physicians Revenue Group, Inc. is your best bet if you are looking for pro-medical billing services. PRG also offers medical auditing services and improved revenue cycle management services for a complete and holistic approach to managing a medical practice, clinics, or hospitals.