Q: What are the biggest keys to minimize delinquency and increase collections??
A: With over $150 million of Accounts Receivable managed in our solution, we’ve gleaned a number of pearls about what moves the needle on collections. The most critical of these is just-in-time frequency. The content and tone of your message may be important, but far more important is simply how many touches you can make to try to collect, especially in the first 30 to 60 days. In most cases, patients want to pay—they just need enough reminders to nudge them to act. It’s not about harassing them—just be courteous and consistent, especially when you’re flexible and allow patients to pay beyond their treatment time. They need to know that their due date is important, and that failure to pay or late payment will be addressed in a timely way every single time. For those families that are experiencing hardship, they are often faced with the dilemma of four to five unpaid bills with not enough to pay all their commitments. You may imagine they pay based on some divine hierarchy of importance, but the truth is that they pay who is most diligent about asking for payment. If you are calling only on the 1st and 15th, you may be missing your window. Plus, once they pass the point of being two to three payments, behind, they feel defeated and can sometimes give up. That’s why we put together our proven protocols which touch past due accounts 23 times within even the first 90 days (weighted towards the first 30 days), and extend our efforts to as long as 180 days. That’s tough to do in a typical office where team members take on collections as one of many daily tasks, but if you can do it you should try. The second critical factor is to have a valid payment method and valid contact number/email on file. Our data shows that regardless of credit worthiness, accounts with no payment method on file are anywhere from 2½ to 10 TIMES more likely to be delinquent. That’s right—even the highest credit patients are over 10 times more likely to pay late or default if they don’t have a payment method on file. So make sure to have a policy to require autopay. We’ve seen many offices that expected pushback there see as few as one or two patients refuse. Even if a few patients can’t or won’t accept autopay, at least have a payment method on file for them.
About Inside the Numbers:
Answers to questions submitted to Inside the Numbers are based on data collected by OrthoFi, and presented here by company President and CEO David Ternan. The data represents over 150,000 consults and over 100,000 patient starts in 200 practices, and includes patient demographic information that can be cross-referenced with everything from patient financing preferences and their risk profile, to price sensitivity and acceptance of interest.
Inside the Numbers aims to help practices make informed decisions about patient financing and help dispel myths that may be hindering practice growth. OP
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