Collecting delinquent medical bills was never going to be a cakewalk, but today’s current events may complicate this task. People may be needing medical attention a lot more often at a difficult time in the country’s history, as people lose their jobs and businesses shutter their doors.
This may mean you’re dealing with more unpaid bills than usual, but collecting on overdue accounts is an essential part of your business. Otherwise, you might face difficulties of your own.
As people do their part to flatten the curve in the face of economic uncertainty, collecting may be a daunting task. So here are a few tips to help your medical business get the payments it needs.
The best collections strategy is one that makes sure you never have to collect an overdue bill in the first place. Foster a close relationship with all your patients and follow up on invoices before their due date. While this won’t work 100% of the time, this business policy may help you catch some accounts before they fall through the cracks.
From your perspective, this is all about the money you didn’t receive for services already rendered. But put yourself in your customer’s shoes. They may be unable to pay because of extenuating circumstances, not because they want to skip out on the bill.
A little empathy can go a long way to improving your chances of recouping your costs, advises the experts at the Summit A*R medical collection offices. The most successful debt collection agencies follow policies to ensure their approach remains professional, compassionate, and ethical at all times. Those commercial debt collection agencies that fall back on aggressive tactics give the industry a bad name, and they rarely yield the same results.
Have an Open Mind
It’s easy to jump to conclusions and wind up believing the worst-case scenario has come to pass, but your overdue bill may not be what you think it is. There may have been a technical glitch that meant your patient didn’t receive their invoice, or perhaps there are delays caused by their insurance.
For something as routine as billing, there are a lot of opportunities for error. Don’t assume anything. Start the conversation with an open-ended question to see what’s going on.
By avoiding accusatory language, you can transform your chat entirely, and it may save you from making a mistake. More still, it will help you to retain them as your customer, especially if it’s revealed to be a mistake and not willful delinquency.
Know When to Back Off
While you can ensure you speak kindly to your customer, you can’t always control the way they react to your phone call. Some people respond negatively when they feel embarrassed or caught-out, so you may be on the receiving end of some abusive language.
If you aren’t able to maintain a constructive conversation, consider turning to a medical collection agency for help. These professionals are experienced in handling disgruntled customers and know exactly how to treat them in a respectful way that yields results.
This is a tough time for everyone right now, so try to be patient as much as possible. But be firm; it’s your right to get the money they owe you!