Over the last year or so, we have observed a growing number of providers successfully increasing overall average collection rates by more than 10%, and routinely exceeding 95%, by implementing effective autopay or credit card on file programs. Most impressive of all, they are doing so with less staff time and opportunity cost than required previously to get lesser results.
The point of this article, however, is not to itemize a plan for implementing such a process; we will do that later. Instead, we first want to talk about the prerequisite obstacle that, without its defeat, there is no chance for success with even the most well-crafted policy.
The “all or nothing” paradox.
But improving collections does not have to be all or nothing. The point is to get a better result. It costs relatively little to develop a sound policy. It costs almost nothing to ask for a credit card number to keep on file. What if we only collect from 10 more patients this month than we would have otherwise? That is 10 patients whose monthly co-pay we can collect for 10 or 13 or 36 months without telephone calls or letters or collection agencies. Next month, we get 10 more.
All or nothing feels like risk avoidance when it is really the opposite. Good business is getting ever-better results with the same or less cost. Do not be fooled.