Collecting payment from people who got behind on their bills is generally the same across most industries. But healthcare collection is a little bit different because of the reason people are seeking that service. Someone might carelessly run up credit card debt for things they don’t need, but no one asks to get sick or go to the hospital. Most of us spend a lot of time trying to avoid it!
As humans, we empathize with people in this situation, but hospitals and doctor’s offices have to operate and keep payments coming. So here are some tips for handling collection in healthcare.
The Collector’s Pledge
I believe every person has worth as an individual
I will make it my responsibility to help consumers find ways to pay their just debts.
I will be professional and ethical.
I will commit to honoring this pledge.
Read more about this approach in our free book, 7 Top Secrets: How to Avoid Costly A/R Mistakes and Get Paid.
2. Use tools to make sure team members are treating patients with respect. While you can vouch for the right attitude, you’ll, unfortunately, need to confirm that message is sinking in. Implement tools such as Call Miner and other programs to ensure your staff is striking the right tone.
3. Create a situation in which your collectors are advocates for the patient. You want to set up or create win-win situations so people can take care of their unexpected debt. A person with a sudden hospital bill is altered, due to the nature of what has happened. That healthcare visit was for a reason, and some are quite serious. Find ways to make it easier to pay. Establish a realistic payment plan if payment in full is not possible; a down payment and then monthly payments based on their budgetary requirements.
If you have questions about collecting in the healthcare industry, contact PRC for help.