I’m packing my bags and heading to Miami, Florida for another one of my mastermind meetings today. I was on the phone yesterday with one of my consulting clients and it was no surprise that office collections were the number one source of frustration for him.
Here are some of the tips I gave my coaching client…. Seven tips to boost office collections in your clinic.
1) It is critical to have financial policies in place, and follow them to the letter, no matter what happens. No exceptions. Make sure this financial policy is written, studied and implemented by each and every staff member.
2) You must be able to accept multiple modes of payment. Accept credit cards, e-checks and offer discounts for on-the-spot cash payments.
3) Implement a pay by phone option, where patients can pay with a check or credit card over the phone. Introduce pay by SMS options (yes, there are ways to do that)
4) All costs associated with a treatment should be paid for in advance. Always have a credit card on file for each patient as standard policy. Make credit card information part of the patient intake form. Most patients will not question this. The ones who do can be politely informed that the card will not be charged without prior notification and is a backup funding source in case of past due balances.
5) Follow up with insurance companies on a weekly or if possible, biweekly basis. Do not wait until the bill is 30 days past due to initiate contact.
6) Align your policies so that you cut a refund check to the patient, as opposed to chasing them around like a bill collector.
7) Implement a payment collection system. Call the patient and gently remind them about the past due balance. You want to use a precise phone script and inform them that a letter is on its way. When the patient gets a phone call/voicemail and hears about the upcoming letter, he is expecting the letter and is more likely to take action. The timing of this phone call should be on or a day prior to the delivery of the letter. With the right timing, phone script and the letter, the patient will feel obligated to make their payment, as opposed to ignoring the letter or regarding it as a nuisance.