No one enjoys being reminded of outstanding financial obligations. Debt can be stressful to think about, particularly when you lack the means to pay it. We see patients struggle to manage their medical debt all the time, even when they are otherwise very responsible with their spending habits. Medical debt is unique in this way because it is often unexpected and not budgeted for.
Rising costs and slow wage growth, combined with an economy that has been slow for a decade, can create an inherently adversarial relationship between patients and providers. Changing that narrative is an important part of successful debt collection. This is why greater results will follow when you help patients first and put debt collection secondary.
Preserving Your Brand While Recovering Debts
As healthcare providers, the last thing you want is patients afraid to schedule an appointment because they worry about how they’ll be able to afford it. That's why we suggest working with your mission and overall vision to create a conversation early where customer service is the primary objective, even when talking about debts. Instead of talking about debt after the bill has aged, consider offering financial counseling services. This gives patients a value-added option that can help them meet their financial burdens, including their medical bills, and keep communication flowing. Early intervention ensures that you are diagnosing any financial problems early so you can help patients find solutions. Plus, you will likely see fewer complaints and face less risk of negative headlines.
Put Debt Collection Behind Customer Service and Results Follow
Remember, most patients aren't late to pay because they want to be. They could potentially be late to pay because an unexpected illness or layoff took away their ability to pay, or they’re confused as to what their responsibility is after their insurance has paid. When approached with a personalized offer of help, these patients are much more likely to work with you, rather than ignore collection attempts.
Many healthcare service providers already have financial assistance programs available, but consumers aren't always aware of them or how they work. By turning debt collection into financial counseling, providers can more quickly separate out those in financial distress and recommend in-house assistance options. This is a win-win because you don't spend additional resources trying to collect a debt that will never be paid and patients avoid the hassle of never-ending debt collection calls.
Patient-Centric Debt Collection Naturally Improves Performance
By engaging customers with a consultative customer service mindset, recovery specialists see more immediate results. This shift also helps improve your reputation in the community. Boosting the number of positive experiences boosts the number of paying patients, creating a loop that helps you hit your margins. Plus, you can focus on doing what you do best: helping people. You simply expand that definition to include financial and physical health as well.
Tavelli Co., Inc. has over 37 years of unparalleled experience in the debt collection and receivables management industry. Our mission is to achieve the right balance between getting clients paid and being empathetic to debtor circumstances, through implementing innovative practices, hiring experienced people, and improving business decisions through analytics. We provide peace of mind to all involved by collecting money with no complaints. Tavelli Co., Inc. takes the time to carefully listen to your customers and share their feedback with you through meaningful data and transparent communication, so you have access to the information you need to make quality decisions and improve your processes in the future. Contact us today and let the debt collection experts at Tavelli Co., Inc. help you set your business up for success.
IMPORTANT: Information provided by Tavelli Co., Inc., any employees of Tavelli Co., Inc., or its subsidiaries is not intended as legal advice and may not be used as legal advice. It is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area, nor should it be used to replace the advice of your own legal counsel.