How to Succeed in Self-pay Collections
Posted on December 15, 2022 by Kylene Ordway
Patients are increasingly more responsible for paying their medical bills outright. High deductible health plans, for example, have made it more common for patients to be responsible for a much larger portion of their medical bills, and some people have no insurance. This means there are more people who need to make payments directly. For providers, self-pay or early out collections services can help ensure more of those payments happen.
Why Early Out Collections Services Are Necessary
In the ideal situation, a provider bills a person for what they owe, and the patient pays for those services. Unfortunately, that often does not happen. Often, these required payments go unpaid and end up in collections, further costing medical providers money and time. With the help of early out collections services, it is possible to interact more fully with patients before collections become a requirement.
Many times, self-paying patients fall into one of several categories:
- They no longer have available benefits as they’ve exhausted funds.
- They have a high co-pay or coinsurance requirement.
- Some have not met the required deductibles.
- Many require services their health insurance does not cover
- Some lack any health insurance coverage
In these situations, providers must often turn to a third party to use collection services to see any of those funds reported. The current economy and limitations on financial resources have made it even harder in recent years for providers to see collection success.
An Early Out Collection Service Can Help
Putting in place an early out collection service may enable medical providers to see improvements in payments. This type of service works as a type of extension of the current internal customer service and collection within the company, aiding in mitigating many of the delays in payment.
Utilizing the proper technology, it is possible to create a patient-first culture that encourages more people to make payments on time. This not only helps with building revenue but also improves the patient’s loyalty to the medical provider.
There are several components to success here, including:
Automation of time-consuming tasks
This may include the collections agency working under the provider’s name to provide services like the following:
- Sending billing statements
- Managing inbound payment-related calls
- Placing outbound calls
- Creating payment plans
- Tracking balances
- Processing payments
- Providing information about financial assistance
Optimizing patient pay processes
Early out collection services can also aid in gathering information about the patient to improve overall communications and to get a better understanding of their behaviors. For example, this could help with pinpointing trends in payment or learning when the best time to call is. It can also work to fine-tune messaging to ensure it is reaching the patient with the right message at the right time to encourage them to make payment.
Personalization of the experience
To be effective, early out collections services like this must create and maintain a strong bond with the patient and the provider. That often includes providing individuals that are empathetic but knowledgeable and able to answer key questions and concerns. There are various ways this can be done, such as providing clarity of account information in a caring and kind tone while providing customer support.
What Can Early Out Collections Really Do for Your Firm?
The sooner that patients receive information about their obligation to pay, and the easier it is for them to make that payment, the more likely it is for providers to receive the funds they are owed. With the use of KeyBridge’s services, you can count on a number of core results:
- Set up and secure accounts quickly
- Have performance data available to see how well the service is working for you
- Make updates to patient accounts in seconds without any complexity
- View individual accounts with ease
- Have access to revenue performance reports
- High patient satisfaction ratings
To succeed in self-pay collections, providers need to utilize a platform that streamlines the process and minimizes delays. Doing this could create opportunities for providers to meet the needs of their patients, who are more likely to be self-paying for their care on an ongoing basis. KeyBridge also excels at patient satisfaction. Each caller is surveyed and asked to score their experience with our patient care representatives and score their experience with the medical facility. KeyBridge continuously receives a 97% or higher, patient satisfaction rating. Our patient-centric approach sets us apart and we have the data to prove it.