Let's be honest, patient statements can be confusing. There's often so much jargon on them that patients don't know when to pay their bill, let alone how to pay it. So, what can you do to simplify statements, and is it even possible to make things easier? We think so. Here's an overview of what's going wrong with patient statements and how to fix them.
The problem with patient statements
We can't stress enough how important it is to get patient statements right – they're designed to generate revenue, after all. Over the years, we've narrowed down the problems with patient statements to these key points:
- They're only available in one language.
- There are too many unnecessary numbers and addresses on the average statement.
- Payment terms are unclear.
- Patients don't understand billing practices.
The good news is that it's easy to fix these problems and increase your cash flow right now. Here's how.
Add language options
We've established that providing a statement in a patient's own language reduces inbound call volume and the days spent in arrears. Make it easy for patients to understand their statement, starting with the language.
Be Intentional with Information
No patient statement needs numerous telephone numbers and contact addresses. List one telephone number for patient queries and a single payment address, and you're good to go
Clear up your billing practices
You can instantly reduce your inbound call volume by providing some clear, jargon-free service descriptions for your patients. If you're transparent and make it clear why there may be discrepancies on a statement – for example, perhaps an insurer didn't pay, or there's a charge for extra services – patients are more likely to pay up quick.
Patients might call you because they want to know what payment options are available. Make the options clear upfront and offer automated payment plans. The easier it is for patients to settle their bill, the happier they'll be, and the more likely it is that they'll recommend you to their extended network.
The healthcare space is constantly evolving. Thanks to fintech, it is only a matter of time before new, more flexible ways to pay are on offer. For now, though, it's all about making it easier for patients to decipher their statements and settle their bills sooner rather than later. With our tips, you can increase your cash flow and minimize patient confusion today.