Collectors are often portrayed as the bad guys, even when that’s not an entirely accurate depiction of who they are. Essentially all healthcare organizations have collections processes in place because healthcare is expensive! Not every patient can afford to pay in full for their service at the time of treatment. This results in outstanding medical bills that need to be collected at a later date.
Naturally, a question surfaces. How can you protect your business’s reputation while maximizing your collections? The answer to this question is far from simple. But we’ve put together 4 tips for accounts receivable collections that may help you protect your business reputation by preserving your patient-provider relationships in the process of collecting.
1. Make sure your collectors show empathy and compassion.
If your collectors are rude, lack understanding, or even appear to be ambivalent, your patients may be off-put by their follow-up calls. Money is a sensitive topic. Bullying an individual into paying an outstanding debt or simply not showing any empathy, compassion, or care to an individual who may not have the means to pay a bill will almost certainly hurt your reputation in the long run. Training your in-house collections team to collect with compassion or hiring trained representatives at an outside agency is the best way to ensure your patient-provider relationships are preserved during the collections process.
2. Be straightforward from the get-go.
Let your patients know before treatment, at the time of treatment, and immediately after treatment what is expected of them in regards to co-payments, insurance, and bill repayment. Being clear and concise about all the costs and fees of your services will ensure that no one can sue you for negligence down the road. Making it easy for your patients to understand their responsibility when receiving treatment from you is also key to maximizing recovery.
3. Provide multiple repayment options.
Your patients are more likely to pay their outstanding bills if you provide them with multiple repayment options. No one likes being forced to operate within tight constraints. If you offer incentives to pay early and/or multiple repayment plans, you’re more likely to secure a promise to pay. This ultimately helps improve your recovery.
4. Outsource your medical debt collections.
If you’re not sure if your staff is adequately trained to initiate the collections processes in an optimal manner, outsourcing your medical debt collections to a healthcare collections agency will give you the peace of mind that your debt collections are in the hands of experts. You can rest assured that experienced individuals are managing your customer service and recovery processes in a professional manner. Especially when you outsource to agencies that are equipped to handle any number of tricky collection scenarios that you may encounter.
Frost-Arnett has over 125 years of experience upholding consumer respect, superior recovery, and customer service. By training representatives to interact with your patients with the utmost compassion and using modern technology, we have created an innovative array of collection processes and solutions to ensure your practice maximizes your recovery. Give us a call at 1 (855) 287-7043 to learn more about what we have to offer.