Make it easy, accept patient payments online
A few months ago I was visiting a friend of mine for the weekend. We discussed our different industries and I heard the following: ‘I want to pay our doctor for the visits of my 2 kids, but they have to make it much easier’. There is plenty of money to pay this bill, the issue is convenience.
With 2 young kids he could not be busier. He is in his office at 6:00 am, and since he is in sales, he his out of his office, on the road, much of the day after that.
Patients have questions, you close at 5
To pay his bill, or even ask a question about it, he has to stop, (did he remember to bring the statement with him today?), the practice has to answer, and the right person has to be available. Guess what happens when any of these are not met?
Since he does not have a checkbook (banks are not passing those out anymore), he is calling the practice. Of course he could write his card information on the statement and send it in, however, PCI compliance is making that a problem for the practice.
Make payments easy
He asked me, ‘why can’t they just keep my card on file?’. I told him, ‘many doctors have tried to get card information from patients, however, after 3 or 4 patients in a row refuse this (and give the front desk person a lot of grief over it), the practice quits asking’.
For the practice to get paid, he has to get home, have dinner, interact with his family, then find a bill, in a house with 2 kids & 2 dogs. Its not just the lack of a checkbook that are forcing patient payments online, it convenience.
Cut though the chaos
Its the 1 statement every 30 days into a house with hundreds of different priorities going on at once. This is the single biggest failure of practice management systems on the market today. And it costs practices billions of dollars per year.
My friend and I used to talk everyday, then he got married, and now has 2 kids. Calling me is now a luxury, and the reality for the practice his kids go to. Practices can fight this all they want, the marketplace is littered with closed businesses that thought they could tell the market what to do.
Every doctor has taken at least 1 class that discussed evolution. Its the ability to handle change that marks the successful populations. Same for business.
Patient payment systems have evolved, even in healthcare. Practices need to change because the marketplace has. Deny this all you want, but you can only change your organization, you have no control of the the marketplace.