3 Tips to Help your Patients Pay their Bills Earlier
You dream of a day when your patients will pay their bills on time. Finally, you can work on more pressing items, rather than spending your day tracking down patients for payments on overdue accounts.
That day can be a reality. Once you diagnose the underlying reason why your patients aren’t paying, you can solve this problem. You just need an understanding of what motivates your patients to pay early and how to tap into that.
Here are three tips to get your patients to pay their bills earlier:
1. Send patients reminders of bill due date
An infoedge 2015 Healthcare Consumer Payments survey of 1810 people – in equal groups aged 20-44, 45-64 and 65-older – revealed that forgetfulness is a frequent reason why patients pay late. When your patient opens their mail, they have a hundred items on their mind such as upcoming work deadlines and family commitments. It’s easy to forget about a bill you’ve seen only once. Help your patients remember your bill in their busy lives. Map out a follow up schedule via email, phone (call or text) and mail to remind your patients of their bill.
2. Offer a payment plan
Our same survey shows lack of funds is the number one reason why most patients pay their bills late. Over 60% of patients in our survey paid their bill late due to lack of funds. Help their monthly budget by offering a payment plan option for their bill. Our survey shows that 38% of payers rank financial assistance – like a payment plan – as their 1st or 2nd choice on paying bills. Model your plan like a credit card’s billing to make it easy to understand, and set monthly payment amounts to ensure full payment within a reasonable timeframe. Patients can align their monthly medical bill payments with their other bill due dates to keep their monthly household budget on track.
3. Give a discount for paying early
Over 50% of surveyed patients who currently pay late would pay early if given a financial incentive. Since 35% of respondents reported their total household income is below $49,999, their money is already spoken for. If your company is set up in a way to give your patient a strong financial reason to pay early, go for it. For example, giving a 5-10% discount on balances above a reasonable threshold for patients who pay up front can motivate patients to pay earlier.
What techniques do you use that successfully get your patients to pay earlier? Tell us in your comment below.