Make Patients Want to Pay

Want your patients to pay when they visit, and be happy about it? Use the following strategies to help them understand what to pay, to be willing pay, and to walk out of the practice feeling their payment was equal to services received.

Acknowledge patients are customers – From the moment money changes hands, patients see themselves as customers. Provide value for their visit and make their experience satisfying—which means thinking about their whole visit, including paying.

Spread the word – Post professional, easy-to-understand messages about co-pays and other costs throughout the waiting room on the walls, as tents on tables, and in communications to your patients. Remember to make messages simple, but explanatory and positive.

Be flexible – Accept credit and debit cards. Take checks. Offer flexible payment plans for patients short on cash. Have enough cash on hand to change a $50 or $100 bill for those long on cash. Short of accepting a chicken, let your patients know you will gladly accept their reimbursement.

Be polite – Make sure the staff at the desk smile, and say “please” and “thank you.” Train them how to handle difficult conversations with patients. Hire personalities who will make patients’ visits as pleasant as possible. Take cues from companies known for their customer service.

ALWAYS be pleasant – There are a lot of ways you communicate with patients besides in-person: on the phone, via email, through mail, and via invoices. Always be pleasant and polite, and take the time in communications to acknowledge the patient’s choice to visit your practice.

Embrace technology – Consider online billing and electronic transfers. If your practice is large enough, install payment kiosk systems. Make paying painless.

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