According to a survey conducted by GoBankingRates, 27% of respondents plan to use their 2019 tax returns toward their debt. Our experience as a billing company has proven that tax season is a great opportunity to collect overdue patient balances. While it is recommended to collect all money at the time services are rendered, we realize that isn’t always possible. Use the following 5 tips to increase your patient collections.
1. Use Colored Paper for Patient Statements-
Do you normally send your patient statements on regular copy paper? Try sending them on brightly colored paper. Colored paper is more likely to grab the patient’s attention and when you combine that with a little extra money in their pockets, they are more likely to contribute to their account balance.
2. Send Patient Statements Twice a Month-
Patients are more likely to recognize that they have unpaid bills when they notice statements coming in more frequently. If you send statements two times a month you can send a first, second, and final notice within six weeks rather than twelve weeks. Still no payment? Time for step three.
3. Increase the Number of Phone Calls to Patients-
If your patients are not responding to the multiple statements you are mailing, it’s time for a phone call. You can phrase the call as “a courtesy to confirm they received your statements and to prevent any further collection steps.” Make sure you are ready to accept a payment made over the phone and ask how would you like to make the payment rather than IF they would like to make a payment.
4. Offer Payment Plans-
While the money your patient owes is important to you, it might not be their only debt. This is when you offer a payment plan which will help to accommodate the patient’s financial situation while allowing them to tackle their other financial responsibilities. We suggest a 3-6 month payoff plan depending on the amount of the balance.
5. Use a Collections Agency or Attorney-
Hiring a collection agency or an attorney to go after your delinquent accounts can be a great alternative after you have exhausted all other options to collect. While both will take a percentage of the amount paid, they do all the heavy lifting for you. If they don’t make a payment after an agency has tried to collect, you now have the option to write off the balance or have the agency file in small claims court.
Tax season is a time of the year that many people look forward to, so while everyone else is getting paid, why shouldn’t you?
At Account Matters, we are dedicated to getting our clients the money they have earned. To learn more about how Account Matters can help with your patient collections, give us a call at 508-422-0231 or visit our website at www.accountmattersma.com.