By Christopher Wolfington
Ensuring that your patient has the best possible financial experience when receiving care is a critical factor in the success of your clinic. When patients feel that they have been well-informed and treated fairly throughout the financial process, their willingness to pay and their likeliness to visit your clinic again both increase significantly. To help maintain positive patient/provider relationships, here are some important tips for improving your patients’ financial experiences.
Be Clear About Your Pricing
This is one of the most important steps in providing a positive financial experience for your patients: be clear about your pricing in the very beginning of the care process. Talking with your patient about their financial obligations will help you to understand what they can and cannot afford, and adjust your services accordingly – or talk to them about more affordable options, as is discussed in the next tip.
Additionally, make sure your pricing is always consistent; never charge different prices for the same service (with the exception of special pricing plans discussed below). Not only is adhering to an established fee schedule, but it is absolutely vital in order for patients to see you as trustworthy and reliable.
Offer Affordable Care Options
By joining a Discount Medical Plan Organization (DMPO), you can offer care to uninsured and underinsured patients at a lower cost than your typical pricing. The way this works is that patients can pay an annual fee and sign a contract with their provider to receive services at a lower rate. Another option for providers is to offer a financial hardship policy for further reduced rates to patients who meet established criteria.
Offer Flexible Payment Plans
Patients are far more likely to pay their medical bills in full if they are given choice and control over how to pay, studies show. When discussing the costs of care with your patient, also inform them of their payment options and figure out what will work best for them. Offering payment flexibility is a win-win for both the provider and the patient – patients will feel less stressed about paying their bills, and providers will be able to spend less time attempting to collect payment.
Finally, make it easier for patients to keep up with their bills and pay them off by offering an online payment portal. This will not only allow patients to pay at their own convenience from any location, but it will also make it easier for them to track how much they owe without needing to sort through several paper bills.
Healthcare providers that put their patient first when it comes to their billing procedures are far more likely to get ahead in their industry than those who do not. What’s more, patients who are able to easily pay their medical costs are more likely to get the care they need. Use these tips when implementing your clinic’s patient finance practices, and you’ll be sure to boost your revenue and enhance your patients’ satisfaction and wellbeing.