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Improving Self-Pay Through Patient Communication

by Andrew Scutro, Senior Associate, Communications

These days, patients are being required to pay more in the form of higher premiums, deductibles and co-payments. This can put medical practices in a tough position: Not only are self-pay balances higher than ever, but collecting puts staff in the often-uncomfortable position of having to ask patients to pay what they owe. In many instances, a long-standing personal relationship or connection with a patient can make for an even trickier situation.

The problem is not insignificant, as studies have shown that up to 50% of self-pay balances go uncollected. So if you are trying to manage a medical practice, that’s money you most certainly need. Yet given how awkward it can be to have to collect these funds—especially from those long-time patients—how do you do it?

We have a few helpful tips for you in a free on-demand webinar on the seven ways to help your practice collect self-pay balances. For instance, we strongly recommend developing and communicating a specific self-pay policy. This helps you deliver a clear message to your patients, and one that stays consistent regardless of the staff member that’s conveying the information.

That’s just one consideration to get more from self-pay collections. Our webinar also explains how medical practices can change workflow, follow-up with patients and use various patient communication tools and services to ensure money owed is money paid.

Until then, what has your experience been when it comes to self-pay? Any tips you can share with colleagues?

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