2020 is a pretty cool year and it’s not just because it’s the start of a new decade. 2020 is also a Leap Year! That means your Health System gets an extra day to address your patients’ healthcare needs. Plus, it’s an extra day to accept patient payments. However, like all good things, there’s a caveat. February 29th (a.k.a. Leap Day) fell on a Saturday. That means if your Health System doesn’t have the tools in place to accept self-service payments from patients outside of business hours, this extra day in the year was a missed opportunity. But don’t worry – in today’s blog, we’ll share a few tips so you can grow your Health System’s self-service payment rate all year long.
Tips to Boost Your Self-Service Payment Rate
1. Send billing communications via digital channels, like email or text.
At Patientco, we believe there’s significant value in sending bills to patients through their preferred digital channel, whether that’s email or text. For one, patients receive electronic bills (eBills) much faster than a traditional mailed paper statement. Second, eBills are more convenient because patients can interact with them on any device, regardless of their location or the time of day. Think about it – with an eBill, a patient can click a link to immediately access their payment options and make a payment. When our client, Roper St. Francis Healthcare deployed Digital-First Billing, they increased their online self-service payment rate by 40%. Put simply, patients are more likely to make a payment digitally when they receive a bill digitally.
2. Offer an intuitive online bill pay portal.
To achieve higher self-service payment rates, your Health System must also provide an online and mobile-friendly payment portal. Your portal should make it easy for patients to manage and pay for all of their healthcare expenses. Also, patients should be able to use the portal to view charges accrued across your health system. For instance, the balance from a visit with their primary care physician should be visible alongside the balance from their recent hospital visit.
Additionally, navigating the portal should be easy for patients and making a payment should be fast and frictionless, no matter what device the patient uses. Completing a payment on a smartphone should be as easy as it is on a desktop computer. In fact, our client, Great River Health System increased its self-service payment rate by 33% after implementing Patientco’s easy-to-use payment tools. Meanwhile, they saw a 60% decrease in monthly patient calls related to payment issues.
3. Make affordable payment options self-service.
Another surefire way to boost your self-service payment rate is to offer affordable payment options with online enrollment. We all know patients are concerned about whether they can afford the cost of their care. Providing flexible payment options like payment plans and financing offers helps address those concerns. However, some patients may not sign up for those options because of the enrollment process. Put yourself in the patient’s shoes. Say you receive an expensive medical bill – you have to take time out of your busy day to call your provider during business hours and admit you cannot afford your bill. You have to go through all of this just to enroll in a payment plan.
Instead, allow patients with high bill balances to access affordable payment options digitally. Use the eBill as an opportunity to prompt the patient to sign up for a payment plan. The patient can quickly select a monthly payment option that works for them and save their card on file so each installment is auto-drafted. It’s easier for the patient and your Health System’s staff, as they no longer have to help patients sign up. As a result, patients can enroll in payment plans outside of business hours. Our clients that offer self-service payment plans saw over 150 patients enroll in a payment plan on Leap Day this year. The combined sum of these payment plans exceeds $115,000 and without online enrollment, those dollars could have been a missed opportunity.
In conclusion, everyday is an opportunity to boost your self-service payment rate. Your Health System just needs the right tools and tactics to do so. If you’re curious about how Patientco can help your Health System, schedule a payment consultation with us!