Prompting Patients to Make Prompt Payments

Sometimes the most daunting denials don’t come from third-party payers. They come from patients in states of denial about the urgency of their own payment responsibilities. Because today’s patients bear bigger roles in direct compensation of their care, those “states of denial” that lead to slow or no pay have significant impact on cash flow for healthcare providers.

To encourage self-payers to ante up more promptly, here are some practical prompts you can use to accelerate cash flow for your organization.

1. Automate discounts for early payments
Incentivize the process for patients by building in rewards for early payments. Those rewards may come in the form of discounts, negotiable rates or more accommodating terms.

To make it easier for providers, our online patient billing and payment and Point-of-Service (POS) solutions can be customized to automatically calculate and present a discounted patient balance using predetermined business rules. Providers can establish both the balance discount percentage and the variables used to determine discount eligibility. For example, a provider can offer a 2% balance discount for payments made in full within 30 days from the date of service. In this scenario, for a $100 balance, the patient would only pay $98.00 and $2.00 would be credited to their account.

2. Clarify and clearly convey penalties for slow or missing payments
Just as rewards for prompt payment should be measurable and meaningful, penalties for slow or no payment should be compelling and clearly stated. Most providers have a tiered approach for billing aging accounts and patients must be informed accordingly.

3. Make online payment set up a part of registration
Integrate the creation of the patient’s online payment account into the registration process. By having patient access counselors prompt the completion of online account set up during registration, providers remove a major barrier to use and even further simplify the scenario for patients.

4. Convey the benefits of prompt payment in relevant ways
Constantly convey the benefits of prompt payment throughout the patient experience in a variety of formats. From registration through discharge, educate and remind patients of the measurable gains that await them when they pay promptly.

There’s no denying that providers must connect with patients early and often to encourage prompt payments. Emdeon Patient Pay Online, Emdeon eCashiering and our other payment collection solutions can help you collect more, faster. Call us at 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) for more information.

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