Most patients inherently think of collections as a painful process. They can probably recall an instance or two where they had a rather unpleasant experience getting a surprise bill with inflexible payment options. However, collections doesn’t have to be painful. Especially when it comes to healthcare collections, we believe that patient satisfaction is paramount.
After all, your patients trust you as a provider to care for their health and needs. Receiving services or treatment from you only to be met with an unpleasant collections experience is likely going to harm your patient-provider relationships. So to keep this from happening, how do you improve patient satisfaction about collections?
Communicate with understanding, honesty, and empathy.
Your patients may be recovering from any number of services or treatments offered by your practice. The last thing that you want to do is add more stress or disturbances to their plates with a harsh or abrupt communication of an outstanding bill. We emphasize the importance of communicating with understanding, honesty, and empathy to everyone at all stages of the collection process. No matter who your patients are and what they owe, they still deserve to be heard, valued, and empathized with. Speaking with understanding helps to preserve your rapport with your patients and find the most viable solution for repayment.
Provide an early out follow up solution.
Incentivizing patients to pay their bills in full by implementing an early out follow up solution will likely improve their satisfaction with you and your repayment options. Having dedicated staff to help your patients increase their self-pay payments makes the process of paying off a bill substantially easier. Feeling supported and receiving exemplary service during the process of paying debt normally results in good reviews as well.
Be transparent about pricing.
No patient likes when they’re slapped in the face with a bill that is much higher than they anticipated it would be. Deceptive pricing can make the collections experience that much more negative from the start. Be transparent about your pricing on your website and in your appointments so that your patients have an accurate idea of how much they will be expected to pay you to receive treatments or services. Patient satisfaction almost always increases with price transparency. It’s less painful to pay a bill when it’s what you expected and budgeted for than when it’s a surprise.
Invite feedback and implement it.
Last but certainly not least, invite your patients to give you feedback regarding your collections process. Ask what they liked, what they didn’t like, and how you can improve. It is also good to provide easy ways to answer your survey questions with prefilled selections to pick from. Additionally, pay attention to the reviews that you receive on your various online listings like Google My Business. Patients normally leave reviews when they have terrible or terrific experiences with healthcare providers, so you’ll probably be able to learn a thing or two by keeping up with your reviews. Once you receive feedback about how to improve your collections, don’t just let it sit in an echo chamber, implement it! Implementation is key to improvement, and your patients will notice the difference.
Increasing your recovery rate and patient satisfaction is top of mind for most providers. Frost-Arnett specializes in both. Trusted to collect since 1893, Frost-Arnett provides trained representatives and advanced payment options to healthcare providers’ patients across the nation. We strive to collect with honesty, empathy, and understanding. Contact us at 1 (615) 259-6271.