Self-pay balances are growing yet they are increasingly hard to collect. Why? Even if you have an in-house team or a variety of vendors who are tasked with chasing down those elusive payments, you’re often met with insufficient and oftentimes frustrating results. The root of the issue may lie in relying on multiple vendors who all handle a singular, particular aspect of the self-pay collections process. This approach does nothing more than overwhelm your patients and deny them what they need the most: a single point of contact to guide them through the self-pay process. A one-touch solution offers your hospital, your staff, and your patients a multitude of benefits that will help you resolve accounts faster and build your rapport with your patients.
#1. The Patient Owns the Solution
The benefit of a one-touch approach is that patient or guarantor financial status is evaluated against all account resolution options available, including prompt pay discounts, Medicaid eligibility, extended payment plans, and hospital financial assistance programs. When patients have a method of payment that is most applicable to their unique situations or an incentive that will motivate them, they will be more willing and prompt in making payments. In other words, a one-touch approach gives the patient the ability to take control of the solution, and account resolutions will be soon to follow.
#2. No More Wasted Resources
Multiple vendors who are simultaneously chasing after patients for different things results in wasting precious time. The benefit of a one-touch approach for hospitals is that the account will be resolved appropriately sooner because the account won’t float from vendor to vendor. A single point of contact becomes the patient’s advocate. They get to know and understand the patient and can help them find their solution quickly and more efficiently.
#3. The Level of Customer Service is Superior
With a one-touch approach, the level of customer service to the patient/guarantor is superior compared to them receiving phone calls from multiple vendors. The patient/guarantor develops a rapport with one person who is there to help them and advocate on their behalf, rather than squeeze them for money they don’t have. The customer service agent helping the patient is better able to uncover issues or problems that might otherwise go unsolved sooner in the revenue cycle, i.e. unreported primary or secondary insurance.
#4. Relieves Your Staff
Dealing with multiple vendors is not only a burden for your patients, but it is also a burden for your hospital staff. Important information can be miscommunicated, duplicated, or worse, lost as it is transferred from vendor to vendor to vendor. When one point of contact receives all the necessary data, what occurs is a smoother flow of communication between hospital staff and the vendor, ultimately relieving them of the burden associated with managing the collections process.
If your hospital has experienced any of these issues, you may consider a one-touch approach to your self-pay collections process. It could make a world of difference for your hospital, your staff and your patients.