Transform Your Patient Statements and Get Bills Paid
Is getting bills paid–especially in a timely manner–a constant struggle for your practice? Do you find yourself sending out notice after notice, printing a fresh statement for your patients every 28 days as their past due fees add up and the odds of sending the bill to collections increase? While there are numerous strategies that can help transform your patients’ ability and willingness to pay their bills on time, there’s one key strategy that can help transform your statements and get those outstanding invoices paid: sending out weekly statements, rather than waiting until a month has passed before updating patients about the status of their bills.
Why Weekly Statements?
Weekly statements have a number of key advantages for your practice. Consider how sending outstanding bills to your patients each week can help benefit your overall statistics and get your bills paid on time.
Weekly bills are more likely to catch patients close to payday. Many people have more money to spend at a specific time of the month than others. As a result, they’ll take care of the bills that are in front of them during that time of the month, while others are more likely to slip through the cracks. By sending out weekly invoices, you’re more likely to catch patients close to payday, when they’re more likely to get those bills paid.
Weekly bills will ensure that patients get timely reminders. Many patients may know that they need to pay that bill, but it’s gone missing–and they’ll wait for the next one to arrive before they call to set up payments or send you that check. Weekly bills will shorten the time between those reminders, making it more likely that patients will get them paid quickly.
Weekly bills keep the reminder about those bills fresh. Many of your patients may have multiple medical bills piling up, making it easy for one to slip through the cracks. Others may struggle to keep up with bills outside their norm. By sending out weekly reminders, you ensure that they won’t forget–conveniently or otherwise–about the money that they owe your practice.
Patients who get more frequent reminders are less likely to set those reminders aside. You don’t want to harass your patients, but you don’t want them to forget about the money that they owe your office, either! By sending out those weekly statements, you make your patients more likely to take care of their debts instead of setting them aside.
Making Weekly Statements Possible: Electronic Statements
You don’t have to send out physical bills to your patients each week in order to take full advantage of weekly statements–and in fact, you may discover that sending them out in the mail quickly adds to your practice’s expenses. The cost of postage rises regularly, and paper isn’t free–not to mention the time your employees need to spend sending out those important notices. Electronic billing statements, on the other hand, will allow you to more efficiently reach all of your patients.
Automate the reminder process. Check your software to discover how you can automate your ability to reach out to your patients and remind them about a past due bill. Chances are, you’ll be able to automate the process so that your software automatically sends out an invoice reminder at a specific time. You may want to increase the frequency of those reminders based on how long it’s been since the charges were incurred.
Get bills out faster. Do you struggle with a billing system that often results in bills being sent out to patients weeks or months after their visit to your office? Do your patients act surprised when a bill shows up in the mail, since it’s been so long since they visited you? Using electronic statements will help get those bills in front of your patients faster so that they can work out what they have due and take care of payment more efficiently.
Make payment easier. Your electronic statements can easily contain a link to your payment system, allowing patients to make a payment on the spot. As a result, they’ll be able to take care of paying that bill while it’s in front of them, rather than putting it off for a “later” that can lead to your bills stacking up.
Keep statements accurate. Paper statements often arrive long after a patient has called in to pay a bill or before the insurance company has taken care of their portion of the payment. In some cases, it may be difficult for patients to understand exactly what they need to pay, leading to confusion or even overpayment. Electronic statements, on the other hand, ensure that your billing information is current and accurate to the best of your ability. Electronic statements also allow patients to easily check their balance at any time: once they’re in the system, there’s no need for them to call you in order to check on that important information.
Issue reminders more frequently, but with less fuss. Electronic statements can be sent out as frequently as you’d like without increasing the effort needed by your employees. You won’t have to add to your office’s expense to experience all the benefits of sending out your invoices more frequently.
Get fresh invoices in your patients’ hands with a few clicks. Patients often call in to learn more about their balances–and they usually want a fresh invoice to go with it. When you opt for electronic statements, you can get that information in their hands with just a few clicks, whether they’re standing there in person or calling in to check their balance.
Keeping up with invoices is one of the most challenging parts of your practice–but it doesn’t have to be. A few simple changes, like making the switch to electronic statements and issuing invoices more frequently, can make a big difference in the way you connect with your patients and how likely they are to pay their bills. If you’re ready to make big changes for your business, contact us today to discover how we can help.