How to Ease the Payment Process for your Patients
Today’s consumers value – and often demand – convenience and simplicity in their interactions with businesses, and the health care industry is no exception. With an increasing focus on patient-centered care and ease of experience, providers are being challenged to embrace new technology and processes to stay ahead.
This is perhaps most evident in the payment process.
While accepting patient account balance payments over the phone or by paper check is still the standard, more than half of all bills today are paid online. This is convenient for patients, but also excellent for providers’ bottom lines. Statistics show that offering multiple payment options increases the likelihood of patients paying on time and in full. By adding an online BillPay option, money can reach your practice’s bank account faster. And as an added bonus, providing multiple ways for patients to make payments can also improve collections and alleviate the volume of incoming phone calls to your billing department.
So you know that offering convenient payment methods can help your practice come out ahead, but where do you start? It’s easier than you think.
First, consider checking with your practice’s banking representative. There may be options to implement online bill pay and even allow for payment plan setup through your existing bank.
Merchant services are also now offering a range of great options for healthcare providers. Check with your current merchant services provider to see what solutions they may offer. Some merchant service companies specialize in e-commerce solutions for healthcare and are now offering web hosting, online payment gateways, virtual terminals, and mobile credit card processing.
Want to take it a step further? Services such as Zelle, Venmo, and PayPal are growing in popularity as consumers become more comfortable using self-service methods to send payments. In 2020, Zelle reported 58% growth in transaction volume. This rapid success demonstrates consumers’ growing demand for more modern, streamlined payment options. Check with your practice’s banking representative to see if Zelle is offered for your business account type.
Finally, make sure your patients are informed about the ways they can make payment on their account. Notices posted in the office or adding an alert to the top of the patient statement about online BillPay options are no-cost ways to promote these alternatives to phone calls or paper checks.
Lynette Cutler is a Billing Manager with Medic Management Group. She has an extensive background in medical billing and revenue cycle management, with over 22 years of experience in the area. Since joining MMG in 2014, Lynette has handled practice management database setup and training, advised on billing policies and procedures, and developed processes for efficient revenue cycle management. She currently manages the billing for various multi-specialty MMG clients. MMG is a national provider of consulting services and back office administrative support to independent and system owned physician practice groups. Additionally, MMG has been formally recognized as a multi-year Northeast Ohio Top Workplaces award winner.