As the prevalence of low cost, high-deductible health plans grow and patients take on increased financial responsibility for their medical needs, it’s becoming imperative for practices to find innovative ways to collect patient payments. The trend towards decreased Payer payments and increased patient responsibility is growing exponentially.
Providers are encouraged to consider alternative strategies to collecting patient payments to avoid write-offs and bad-debt. One of the most effective and patient friendly methods of collecting patient payments is the use of in-house payment plans.
Many practices avoid developing payment plan programs due to a lack of infrastructure and often fail to realize that with minimal technology these programs can be set up easily and affordably. Installment plans, a specific type of payment plan can be a very useful tool in helping patients pursue a treatment plan involving a pricey medical procedure and can be very helpful for practices conducting a large amount of elective procedures.
Installment Plans – An installment plan is typically set up as an arrangement between provider and patient involving a deposit, followed by a series of payment installments to satisfy the remaining balance.
Unless you are looking to join the stone ages, trying to manual payment plan arrangements manually is not the way to go. There are easy to use, affordable cloud based software programs that can easily manage patient info, store cc information and take payments automatically.
Prior to setting up an installment plan program it is important to develop the right business policies and educate office staff on payment plan guidelines. This prevents any miscommunication with patients but also ensures your payment plan program will be successful.
Always collect something upfront but be sure to develop a variety of repayment options to accommodate the needs of patients. The more options you have available, the more likely patients will be to pay on time.
Communication is key. Develop a one page fact sheet for patients to take home covering all of your payment plan policies. It is also wise to set up automated communication remind them that their payment is due or will be deducted if they are set up for autopay.
With a little work upfront, setting up a payment plan programs can revolutionize the financial health of your practice. For more information on Installment Plans contact NTC Healthcare today!