Providers can help improve collections by encouraging patients to start paying on a statement, even if the patient cannot pay the whole amount due before the due date. One cost-saving approach—both in helping reduce the number of statements mailed and in lowering write-offs—is to employ segmented variable messaging on patient statements.
For example, if an amount due on a given statement is $2,500, the patient is clearly less likely to be able to make immediate payment than on a small balance due. If a provider has a payment plan in place, a high-balance-due statement is the ideal place to alert patients of that plan. Use the message box for a clear message such as “0% interest - Contact us to talk about setting up a payment plan.”
Such a message—friendly and action-oriented—can help spur a first payment on that balance; and a first payment tends to lead to a second.
Segmented variable messaging involves more than just a note about a payment plan. For example, low-dollar statements could include, instead, a message about online billing and payment, other available services, charitable activities, or other messages useful to the patient or that build patient relationships. The goal is to reach patients with messages relevant and important to them, which in turn helps providers improve collections and their bottom lines.