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We live in a world where things are instantaneous and paperless – and where medical practices are no longer willing to give away product or services for free. This fact is becoming more true every day in patient collections. That’s why one effective way to improve private pay collections is to keep a card on file. Doing so benefits the provider and the patient. Yet, many providers are still using old habits and not utilizing all the benefits cards offer. Here are five reasons why every provider should adopt the “card on file” mentality.

1. Recurring payments ensure no delays.

Back in the day, providers would send a bill to the patient and expect the patient to pay the bill. They didn’t want to pressure patients for fear of losing their business. As result, there are still medical practices who take the “bill and chase” route. Over the past few years, however, the business of healthcare has changed and the more progressive providers are actively seeking ways to improve their revenue cycle management philosophy. And it’s not just healthcare – it’s everywhere. Think about your billing relationship with hugely successful enterprises like Netflix and Amazon. You can’t utilize their services without having a card on file. Why? Because it ensures payment for services rendered and product shipped, and it’s easy for the consumer. Now think about recurring patient supplies and rental equipment. If the provider is offering this as a service, the logical thing for them to do is to secure their assets in the equipment and to maintain the patient’s convenience for getting supplies. The last thing a patient wants is to experience delays in receiving equipment. When a patient receives recurring equipment or supplies, and a card is secured, everyone wins. The patient encounters no delays, and the provider gets paid.

2. Cards make the whole experience seamless.

In today’s consumerism, it’s all about convenience, convenience, convenience. Your patients are busy and so is your staff, so who has time to chase down payments? The last two years has paved the way for contactless payment options and pushed many patients and providers to think about how they pay for services differently. In fact, your patients now expect their financial experience to be transparent, accurate, and easy. And providers just want to get paid for services rendered. Keeping a card on file and giving patients visibility into their account makes it seamless and convenient – for all.

Don’t forget about the HSA or FSA card. These cards as just as valuable, and sometimes easier, for a patient to keep on file instead of a credit or debit card. Keeping a card on file also ensures future dates of service can easily be paid without having to trouble the patient when a balance comes due.

3. Getting paid on time is now expected.

If providers had more cards on file to streamline their billing process, they would save on labor resources and on the time it takes for patients to pay their bills. Not having to work so hard for the money you are due just makes sense. And getting paid on time is now very much expected in revenue recycle management. One important thing to consider – patients are payers too! You must start treating your patients as you would a commercial payer because patient payments are just as important. Don’t beat yourself up for asking patients to pay for services required to maintain the cash flow. And don’t be afraid to collect for all services rendered. Every other service provider collects, why shouldn’t you?

4. The card model is already working.

Welcome to the new norm in healthcare payments and revenue cycle management. Practices from pediatricians and vision clinics to dentists and audiologists have already adopted the card on file method. Why are we the last ones to the party? Providers utilizing the right tools and technology available in the marketplace are already one step ahead of their competition. They are getting paid sooner, and without all the extra labor resources. It’s simple: keeping a card on file not only guarantees payment, but also saves a ton of time and effort in the collections game.

5. Some providers are collecting in the high 90s. Are you?

Some providers right now are still only collecting 40-50% of their patients’ copays. That is not a winning percentage for any business. By keeping a card on file for any recurring patient needs, whether that be service or equipment, the collection rates are well into the 90’s. In fact, seeing collections up to 97% is not unusual and completely attainable. The USPS will be raising postage rates again this summer and a first-class stamp is expected to be $.60! Providers need to find a more cost-effective, efficient, and sustainable way to collect for services and sending out snail mail (and waiting for a payment to be sent back) is not the answer.

We know that doing more with less is the key for providers to become more profitable. It’s also clear that providers have to start enforcing the collection of the assets and services they render to patients. That’s why using technology and software solutions to increase patient collection percentages while still remaining empathetic to patients’ needs is crucial. Keeping a card on file is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help ensure profitability. Period.

HME company boosts its collections rate to over 95% through effective patient engagement

Still have questions about how your business can become more profitable by utilizing cards on file, new technology and customized software? Contact Brightree today to speak with a team member about your business and how we can help you reach your goals.

Jennifer Leon, Vice President of Brightree Patient Collections

Jennifer Leon is the Vice President of Brightree Patient Collections, where she leads a team of experts in helping providers collect and retain more private pay.

Jennifer has held a succession of positions enabling her to develop a deep understanding of the private pay collection process, including the best practices for optimal operational performance.

She serves on the Medtrade Education Advisory Council and is a frequent contributor to HME News’ Smart Talk and HomeCare Magazine and to the speaking circuit at national and state shows.

Jennifer Leon Vice President of Brightree Patient Collections at Brightree

Jennifer Leon Vice President of Brightree Patient Collections

Jennifer Leon is the Vice President of Brightree Patient Collections, where she leads a team of experts in helping providers collect and retain more private pay.

Jennifer has held a succession of positions enabling her to develop a deep understanding of the private pay collection process, including the best practices for optimal operational performance.

She serves on the Medtrade Education Advisory Council and is a frequent contributor to HME News’ Smart Talk and HomeCare Magazine and to the speaking circuit at national and state shows.

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