Whether it’s what you’re saying, when you’re saying it or how you want patients to respond – message content is the key to successful A/R outreach. After contacting millions of patients on behalf of healthcare organizations, combinations of these eight best practices have proven to be essential for driving increased payments.
- Keep it short – A short communication can also work to create curiosity and eventual response. A brief message can be effective at directing patients to your portal, where they can get more details and make the payment while they are signed in to their account.
- Be clear on deadlines and consequences – If you have set a hard date for turning over the account to a collections agency, be sure to let the patient know. Whether that deadline is 10 days out, 20 days out or more, including that window in the message helps you better set expectations with the patient.
- Proactively address potential issues – Adding clarity about what steps in the A/R process are already complete (insurance processing, statement mailing, etc.) can give patients a sense of urgency in remitting their payment and confidence that they are paying the proper amount.
- Pay attention to tone – The wording used in a “final notice” pre-collections notification should assume a direct feel that is not as necessary in earlier courtesy communications. An early stage notification can serve as an “awareness” communication, making sure patients know that payment is due and the options to make that payment.
- Offer payment options – Early in the A/R cycle, attracting payment is largely about making it easy, so include all the ways a patient can make payment. At 30 days after the first statement and later, limiting the payment options to a direct phone contact with the staff is often the best choice. This sets up the opportunity for the team to work with high-balance patients on financial arrangements.
- Do not disclose balance – Though you are telling patients that they owe a balance, purposefully leaving out the amount makes them more likely to speak with the staff to find out. Once the patient gets in touch with the staff, much of the battle is already won.
- Multiple calls to action – Advertisers will tell you that multiple calls to action yield the highest response rates, and A/R outreach is no different. Instruct patients on what to do early in the message, and then mention that call to action again after any other details have been shared.
- Capture wrong numbers – This is more of a housekeeping recommendation than others in the list. However, adding this element to the end of your message in early A/R stages will help you most efficiently communicate moving forward. Allowing patients to indicate a wrong number will save you from mistakenly contacting them again and redirect that focus to the patient you are actually trying to reach.
Click HERE to learn more or contact TeleVox at 1-800-644-4266 for sample scripts and more best practices in A/R outreach!