Collecting debt is undeniably a tricky process to navigate. When it comes to healthcare providers, staying on good terms with patients is a must to ensure they keep returning for treatments and services at their practices. This means that debt collection must be navigated with multiple factors in mind, not just maximizing recovery.
When healthcare providers don’t have trained staff who know how to effectively conduct the collections process, they often make these 4 mistakes:
Being too aggressive.
Although you may be eager to receive the outstanding debt you’re owed, it’s integral that you walk the fine line between collection and customer service well. Aggressiveness does not equal more effective collection. Oftentimes, you may be collecting from very ill patients, causing even more distress to them. Nonetheless, you cannot completely remove all urgency from debt collections as it’s still integral that you’re getting paid and maximizing your recovery to continue to operate profitably.
Not thinking about patient-provider relationships.
If you fall into the category of being too aggressive with your debt collection, you probably also are not thinking about patient-provider relationships as much as you should be. Like we mentioned above, staying the course with patients to ensure they feel cared for, heard, and collaborated with is essential to maintaining your good patient-provider relationships while also collecting the debt that you need to collect. Allowing your patients to voice their concerns and working with them to find a solution that makes repayment possible will go a long way when it comes to collecting as much as you can while keeping your patients feeling as cared for as possible.
Failing to conduct collection with honesty, integrity, and compassion.
Rude tones and even ambivalent tones are easy to misread and to interpret as uncaring or cold. The more comfortable your patients are with your company and the way you conduct all your interactions with them, including collection, the more likely they are to pay you back and to continue to come to you for services and treatments. Honesty, integrity, and compassion are key to successful debt collections, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
Not providing patients with adequate information upfront.
No matter what you’re currently doing, make the switch to providing your patients with clear information about your collection policies upfront. By making sure your patients are aware of what they’re getting themselves into if they’re not able to pay their bills at the time of service, they can’t claim negligence in court if they don’t want to pay their bills. Reiterate your policies in a variety of ways and at multiple times in your interactions with your patients. This should include before the appointment, at the office, and after the appointment.
Have you made any of these mistakes when collecting medical debt? Looking for a partner to help you maximize your recovery while maintaining your reputation for stellar customer service? Frost-Arnett may be just the right fit for you. Our healthcare collections agency has more than 125 years of experience collecting with honesty, integrity, and compassion. We help you maintain your patient-provider relationships while getting the money you’re owed. You can contact us at 1 (855) 287-7043 today to learn more about how we can help!