Patient Collections: Don’t bet against the house

Q. Why should I implement a ‘card on file’ payment method for my business?
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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A. Did you know that 60% of the amount owed by patients is never collected, and that 30% of patients have a past due balance of 60 or more days?

Even if you are collecting initial copays up front, HME providers are quickly realizing the value of having a card on file for future payments is more of a necessity than it has ever been. What’s astonishing is the rate in which automated payments is growing—111% year over year—and that number will certainly continue to rise.

Failure to create an automated payment policy could mean losing out on much-needed collection revenue. Think about your current product mix; if you are providing recurring rental equipment without a card on file, the probability of you actually collecting after-the-fact is like going to Vegas and betting against the house. Those odds are clearly not in your favor. Next, think about your patient demographics; statistics are showing the age of a patient entering our space is much younger than what it used to be, and this new generation of patients will come to expect the convenience of automated payments.

Communicating the expectation up front and having a credit card on file is the best way to ensure you get paid 100% of the time, and helps to guarantee that you get paid the right amount at the right time. With automation provided through technology and a strong policy in place, HME providers can collect faster, increase cash flow, improve efficiency and allow time to concentrate on higher payoff activities.

Jennifer Leon is vice president, patient collections at Brightree. Reach her at jleon@brightree.com.