The upcoming tax refund season is an ideal time to implement some strategies to increase collections. As patients get their tax return refunds they are presented with an opportunity to review their current financial situation. Historically, almost 50% of Americans pay down debt with their tax return refund. In many cases medical expenses are not at the top of their list because other debtors charge higher interest rates or offer settlements for payments in full. Now is a perfect time to give patients a compelling reason to pay their medical bill.
One strategy that Healthcare Resource Group (HRG) has found successful is to offer a discount for payment in full. Historically, HRG has seen up to 30% increase in patient collections during tax return season when a payment in full discount is offered. Be forewarned: this is a strategy that you may not want to employ every year as you may condition patents to wait until tax time to pay their bill. However, in instances where you have an increase in self-pay AR or a significant number of accounts on a payment plan this can be a great solution. If you offer a discount program you will want to ensure that you promote this using statement inserts, website advertising, and local newspaper articles. Tiered and flat rate discount structures are both great options. If you tier the discounts to incentivize quick payment, it will prompt faster payments. A tiered settlement program for example would start at 30% payment in full discount if paid by the end of March and would tier down to a 10% payment in full discount if paid by the end of May. Patients are also very receptive to a flat 20%-30% payment in full discount if paid 30 days from statement date. The benefits include increased collections, reduced AR, and positive feedback from the community.
Revenue Cycle Senior Director For Healthcare Resource Group, Inc.
Brandon Hayes’ superior customer service skills paired with his passion for helping others naturally drew him to the healthcare industry. Brandon, originally an Environmental Water Science graduate, took to revenue cycle management like a fish to water. He quickly went from an early out self-pay customer service team member to the Revenue Cycle Senior Director for HRG, the same company he started his healthcare career with 7 years earlier.
Brandon works actively with his division to exceed industry customer service standards, provide ultimate client results, and proactively adapt to all industry and patient communication regulation changes.