A study of nearly 35,000 online reviews of medical billing office’s nationwide has found that customer service is patients’ chief frustration, not physicians’ medical expertise and clinical skill.
The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Medical Practice Management, reveals that 96 percent of patient complaints are related to customer service, while only 4 percent are about the quality of clinical care or misdiagnoses.
According to the study, among the unhappiest patients, 53 percent cite communication frustrations.In a Community Health billing environment, patient satisfaction is a top priority. From Board Members to Front Office staff a constant efforts placed through extensive policy and procedure to be sure the patient is satisfied in every way. So where's the breakdown and why are patients still not happy? Is it your self-pay policies.You may be thinking, “What self-pay policies?” That's exactly my point. The majority of Community Health Center self-pay patient billing practices consist of sending notices. The incoming calls that come in are either answered by anyone available to answer the call, that could even mean the CFO or forwarded to voice mail.
In every other department of your medical practice you hired trained professionals to do specific tasks. You wouldn't want your CFO performing medical services if a physician's out sick, right? Self-pay's no different. Self-pay tasks should be handled by a professional who’s main focus is customer service. Many financial people within medical facilities from anesthesiology offices to hospitals focus more on recovery than resolution. If you focus more on resolving the accounts, you'll not only recover more but you'll also save a ton of money. The cost of working self-pay lies in the account constantly revolving within your billing cycle. To be effective you must place take a proactive approach when communicating with a patient.
On an average 30% of your self-pay accounts have a bad address or a bad phone number. This means 30% of your patients are never receiving a statement, yet you continue to send one every month.When a patient calls they obviously have something important to discuss. Voice mail leaves the patient frustrated and the next call is often confrontational. This is another reason self-pay should be left to the professionals.
Many will say they'll never let an Early-Out patient billing company call their patients. Let me ask you this? Is it better customer service to send dead-end statements and not answer phone calls then it is to be sure a statement's delivered with a follow up call asking if the patient has any questions? By being proactive you can remove the objections and frustrations then there's only one question left to answer. Will you pay the bill or not? Can you imagine coming into your office tomorrow and never dealing with a self-pay account again?
These services are often offered on a low contingency fee model with no upfront costs. Check us out and let's talk. You have nothing to lose by seeing if this solution's right for your billing office.