4 Ways to Manage Patient Payments During Economic Hardships

With a lot of the country experiencing economic hardships right now, collecting payment on any type of bill is presenting challenges across all industries. However, since patients are responsible for 30% of all medical expenses, it is crucial to continue collecting patient payments to keep your practice running.

Here are some tips on how to sensitively address payment solutions with patients who are having trouble paying their bills.

1. Enforce your current payment policies

Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, some companies—utilities and mortgage companies in particular—are giving customers extra time to pay their monthly bills. Your patients may be hoping for leeway on their healthcare bills as well.

In most cases, however, you should still gently remind your patients that for essential healthcare services to continue, practices need to keep revenue flowing, and that means billing will continue as usual. Stick to your current payment policies as much as possible.

2. Set up payment plans

If a patient is simply unable to pay a bill in full, help them set up a payment plan. With BillFlash PlanPay, patients can pick any date to have payments automatically withdrawn each month. You can even set the start date a few months in the future to give the patient some extra time to get their finances in order.
Payment plans are a great way to show your patients you care about them, while still protecting the financial health of your practice. Both of you benefit:
  • Your patient has a more manageable bill
  • You are more likely to be paid in full

3. Utilize HSA and FSA plans

Your patients may have an HSA or FSA plan to help cover medical bills. Encourage patients to use these savings to cover copays and outstanding balances.
FSA funds must be used by the end of the year, but an HSA can be used at any time until funds run out, even after switching jobs.

4. Send more than one reminder

Use whatever resources you have—email, phone, text, mail—to contact patients about balances they owe. You will likely need to send out more than one reminder. If one method isn’t working, try reaching patients another way.
Be kind in your reminders, but firm. Most patients want to pay their medical bills. They just need a reminder and an easy way to make the payment.

Managing late or unpaid bills during economic uncertainty may require a different approach than you're used to. But any effort you make to support your patients will benefit your practice financially. To learn more about how BillFlash can help you manage patient payments during economic uncertainty, visit www.Billflash.com or call 435-940-9123.

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