Use Self-Service Check In to Improve Collections at Neurology Practice

Nov 01, 2019
Revenue Cycle, Clearwave, Medical Patient Check-In 0 Comments

How to Use Self-Service Check In To Improve Collections At Your Neurology Practice  

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Next to serving patients, payment collections should always be a priority at your neurology practice, because when patients don’t pay you, your practice is at risk. Collecting on medical bills upfront may be necessary, and with the right processes, technology, and patient advocacy, you can improve collections and office efficiency.   

The bottom line is, you should always be working to improve your patient payment collections at your neurology practice. This is because if you don’t collect upfront, it could be more difficult to collect later. In fact, did you know that patient copays alone make up about 20% of a doctor’s office revenue? And most physician practices only collect about 60% of patient copays.    

How can you improve collections at your neurology practice? With self-service check in.

Clearwave’s self-service patient check in kiosk

Before we dive into how self-service check in can improve collections at your practice, let’s discuss the common ways patients pay. 

There are four common ways patients pay their bills at practices.   

  1. Kiosk payments are made through a kiosk machine and are great for self-service check ins and self-pay collections.
  2. Mobile payments are made through an app on the patient’s phone and are also a great option for self-service check ins and self-pay collections, as patients are able to manage their portal whenever, wherever.
  3. Walk-in payments are typically made at the front desk, but they can also be made through a self-serve machine.
  4. Payment plans are also available for patients who want to pay off their bill in increments within an extended timeframe.        

Self-Service check in at your neurology practice 

As healthcare costs rise, more patients have more self-pay responsibility, including higher deductibles, premiums, and copays.  

Become a patient-centered neurology practice with self-service check in. Self-service check in gives your patients the power to control their own experience at your practice. They can not only check in for appointments, but also send payments and verify their insurance right there in real-time.       

Did you know that 80% of patients want their doctors to help them manage financial responsibilities by clearly communicating what insurance covers versus what they owe? Meanwhile, 45% say their doctors do not do this or they do a poor job. Improve your patients’ ability to manage their own financial responsibilities with your practice by offering them self-service check in. Make it a part of your check in process to let your neurology patients know what they owe upfront. 

Improve payment collections with self-service check in 

Self-service check in allows you to become a more patient-centered neurology practice. For some people who owe money, life just gets in the way. Giving your patients payment options makes it easier for those who have unusual work schedules, family and work obligations, or other stressors that could take priority over paying their medical bills.   

Patient using Clearwave’s self-service check in technology

The thing is, just like your patients might not have the time, many of them don’t like having to have uncomfortable financial conversations at the front desk. Clearwave’s self-service check in technology automatically generates estimates of patient responsibility, as well as requests co-pays and past-due balances upfront so you can improve collections. 

According to an InstaMed report, nine in ten consumers want to know payment responsibility upfront. Medical costs can often surprise patients, especially because insurance eligibility fluctuates and the cost of patient care varies. Self-service check in allows your practice to offer the patient a payment schedule with an estimate upfront. 

When patients know what they owe and when they owe it, they can plan ahead and make sure they have the proper funds available when their bill is due. 

Clearwave self-service check in offers a method that increases transparency while changing the psychology of patient payment and driving double-digit increases in point-of-service collections. With ‘swipe and hold’, patients are able to automate future payments too. This is especially helpful at your neurology practice, as your patients can be forgetful or in the care of others.  

Patient paying medical copay using Clearwave’s patient self-service technology

Handling self-pay issues has its own challenges, however, the use of electronic patient communication, self-service check in, and self-pay reminder services can improve patient collections, save your patients and your staff time, and improve your bottom line. 

In fact, implementing Clearwave’s self-service check in software makes it easy to accelerate front end revenue by dramatically increasing point of service collections by over 20% and decreasing patient check in time by 85% on average.   

5 tips for using self-service check in to improve collections 

How can you use self-service check in to improve collections at your neurology practice? Here are 5 tips. 

  1. Develop and communicate a self-pay policy to your patients 
  2. Make sure your patients are aware of self-pay collection balances 
  3. Use automated appointment reminders to prompt payment 
  4. Follow up on self-pay obligations early and often
  5. After you’ve done everything you can, employ a collection agency 

In addition to these 5 tips, remember that you should always be collecting payments via your patient portal to make it easy for your staff and your patients. Offering payment plans and keeping communication consistent are also important factors in improving patient collections.   

Managing your self-service check in and self-pay payments relies on better communication and more proactive engagement with your patients. But remember, they want to know what they owe upfront no matter what. So let them know! 

Let your patients handle their check in and let them handle their payments. The easier you can make the payment and collection process and the clearer you can be when notifying patients of your care services and costs, it will no doubt improve collections and increase the likelihood of on-time repayments.        

After all, patient satisfaction comes from honest upfront communication on payment estimates and when they are due.