The need for user-friendly patient statements
The cost of healthcare is increasing and together with that, the portion being borne by patients is also increasing. Patient payment is now becoming a higher source of revenue for providers. Out-of-pocket collections are not exactly an easy matter. It is more costly and time-consuming with more hands-on attention and follow-up. Also, patients do not pay up as fast as payors.
In this scenario where self-payment is so much higher than before, it becomes critical for providers to prepare a simple, straightforward, user-friendly means of financial communication. Listed below are some best practices for patient statements that can be implemented for smarter communication with patients, resulting in improved financial outcomes, lesser collection costs, and optimal use of resources.
Some best practices for patient statements
1)There should be no delay in sending statements:
- Whether it be an e-statement or a paper statement, there should be no delay in sending them. The likelihood of collecting dues decreases as time goes by.
2) Shift to e-statements:
- Studies have shown large numbers of patients prefer to receive e-statements. One study found that 77% would like to enroll in e-statements. Practices also stand to benefit as sending statements electronically eliminates costs associated with paper statements to about 60% and often leads to faster payment.
3) Readability and Usability:
- Key information such as the amount owed, when due and how it can be paid should be given prominence. A simple design with uncluttered data is compelling. Data can be provided in smaller chunks with tables, call-out boxes and attractive shading—highlight important billing instructions. The language must be simple, friendly and free of technical jargon. The sentences must be short and precise.
4) Multiple payment options:
- Patients are now using a mix of payment methods to pay their bills and need more flexibility, convenience, and choice built into the billing process. A patient may use multiple options to pay a single statement. They also change how they pay the same bill each month based on factors such as the size of the balance owed and the due date. Patients must be offered multiple payment options for maximum collections.
5) Automated past-due reminders:
- In the event of a patient not paying up in time, automated phone calls and texts turn out to be quick and effective reminders instead of costly paper statements. And with multiple payment options, patients are most likely to pay up when they receive alerts.
For most practices, the complexities of billing and collecting are daunting. In this scenario, outsourcing your revenue cycle management is a prudent way out. However, outsourcing to a competent and trustworthy company is paramount.
How Bristol Healthcare can help you
Bristol Healthcare Services has invested in the latest technology to enable our processes to be efficient and minimize human errors. It also allows us to prepare correct patient statements, which are clear, understandable and free of technical and confusing jargon. Our patient statements are professionally designed with suitable colors to enable easy reading and understanding. Changes in the address are updated. Clients get to review and control what goes out to patients. No more manual processing work for you.
Our patient billing services ensure that the statements contain details of the practice, cost break-up of all medical services, dates of service, balance amount due, and modes of payment. Statements are sent promptly to patients every 15 days or the billing cycle spelled out by you. Secured payment gateways are used and patient payments go directly into the bank account of our clients. Once the payments are made, they are posted into the accounts of the patient.
Our patient billing services are a win-win situation for both providers and patients. Our transparent and helpful processes assist in faster payments by patients and higher collections, thus increasing your cash flow.