July 6, 2022

The Role of Empathy in Increasing Patient Collections

by
Sherry Cyrus
The Role of Empathy in Increasing Patient Collections

Independent practices have the potential to earn greater patient loyalty than their larger counterparts. Providers gain this loyalty through the personalized interactions they can offer their patients. Intelligent practices focus on using this advantage to boost patient empathy. 

Empathy is crucial as healthcare prices increase. Family medical coverage average premiums rose 47% between 2011 and 2021. This burden creates pressure on payers that can be relieved by empathy. 

Here is the role empathy can play in increasing patient collections.  

Separating Health and Finances

Patients are particularly vulnerable to stress since they must simultaneously process their physical and financial condition. Regardless of a patient’s financial standing, never discount their health. 

When possible, focus on the person’s well-being before shifting to money. While physicians have consistently achieved this goal, office staff have room for growth. Begin by simply asking how a person is feeling at the front desk. Doing so demonstrates more interest in their well-being rather than money.

Online Transparency

Many patients can’t pay for medical services but must travel to learn this fact. Eliminate their need to visit an in-person office by providing online service prices. This step also saves workers’ time, who can focus on collecting accounts receivable. 

Place your prices on the patient portal in an intuitive location. Make this information detailed enough to account for different plans, deductibles, and copays. 

Boosting Patient Loyalty

Returning consumers help practices maintain a stable income. These satisfied patients are more likely to bring in new payers through word of mouth. Consistently showing empathy strengthens the bond between practice and consumer. So, it’s critical to listen to individuals’ feelings and situations with the intent to absorb both. 

Forgiving Health Payment Plans

A significant percentage of individuals can’t pay medical bills upfront. However, many can reimburse services if provided with a forgiving health payment plan. Understanding this fact is a key tool that unlocks potential revenue sources. 

Adopt a payment system that quickly links to alternative options. Ensure that you offer the widest variety of credit card and online banking options possible. 

Gentle Payment Reminders

Frequently, patients who have one source of debt have others. This compounding problem can make it difficult for debtors to recognize where they owe money. So, consistently remind patients during interactions of their outstanding balance. 

However, avoid using insistent language. Instead, list the payment options available. End the dialogue by asking how they’d prefer to pay. This approach gives the consumer flexibility without cornering through harsh demands. 

Billing Notifications

Give patients a reliable, non-shaming way to keep track of their bills. Automatic payment reminders are consistent notifications that send alerts when invoice deadlines pass. Offer additional flexibility by providing several options for where to send the reminders. 

Empathy Through Health Data Analytics

Providers frequently project their feelings onto their patients and act accordingly. While this habit can yield positive results, it often leads to critical misunderstandings. Gathering hard facts is a practical tool to avoid this mistake. 

Data analytics can present streamlined outlines of your consumers’ habits. These facts convey the situations most prevalent in your patient base. Understanding data allows staff to empathize with the experience of an average visitor.

AnodynePay has created a comprehensive patient portal that combines the necessary ingredients to maximize empathy. With one click, our site can list service prices and billing options. Our systems collect critical financial data and synthesize it into easy-to-read analytics. Contact us today to see your future of improved patient empathy. 

Key Takeaways

1. Focus on the patient’s health before pivoting to finances.

2. Create a detailed, transparent page on your website that lists service prices. 

3. Empathize to boost patient loyalty. 

4. Offer flexible payment options. 

5. Give consistent, gentle updates regarding bills. 

6. Provide regular invoicing notifications. 

7. Collect analytics to learn the average patient experience. 

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