How Do You Send Your Statements?
How great would it be to never send another statement in your practice’s life? Even offices that claim to be “fee for service” discover that they have an Accounts Receivable - patients that owe them money! Imagine the surprise on the practice owner’s face when he sees the printed report with $35,256 on the bottom.
“How could that be? We don’t accept insurance benefits and my patients pay for their work when it is performed!”
The point is this - some form of communication must take place to those patients that leave the practice owing you money for your services. What options do you have? Telephone, email, text message, mailed statement - or now they may have the option of paying their account on your website.
Telephone communication will work for some patients that are comfortable giving their credit card number to you, or maybe you have kept it on file and simply need to ask their permission to apply the balance to the credit card information that is “on file.” What happens, however, when the Financial Coordinator can’t seem to get the patient on the phone during your office hours? Apparently the patient works the same hours. And let’s not forget that if the patient elects to mail their payment - where is the elusive envelope?
Email contact is an option, as well. Again, what if the patient “has” an email address but never really checks it? And still no envelope to mail a check and still the concern of giving a credit card number over the internet. Text messages also have the same challenges.
So this brings us to the “old fashioned” way of informing your patients of the services that were provided, how much has already been paid, if any, and their balance that is due on a certain date. Since most of us accept the fact that this is still the most popular way of sending notices, let’s review the basic concepts of mailing statements.
Who Should Do The Mailing?
Next, she “submits” electronically over the internet, the database to the eServices company that you have contracted with. This service could be through your software company or an independent service. The average fees per statement run from $.50 to $.65. What a deal! Think about this - no printing statements and using paper and cartridge ink (and you know how expensive that is), no statements piling up with last week’s date on them because no one has had time to fold and stuff them into envelopes. No expense for the return envelope AND they look very professional, usually with a perforated receipt and printed in color. Let’s not forget that you don’t have to keep rolls of stamps on hand or continually feed your postage machine. Life is good…
What Information Should Be Included?
Here is how to stop that - there is a setting in your software that allows you to indicate how many days of activity you want to be printed on your statement. Simply change your statement setting to 45 or 60 days so the description will include the services provided, the patient payment, the insurance payment and now the balance due for the past 45 or 60 days. And think of all the phone calls it will eliminate.
How Often Should You Send Statements?
Some practice management software programs automatically age accounts daily and others age when the month is closed or when the statements are generated. The software will ask if the accounts need to be aged - say “yes!”
Daily statements increase cash flow and decreases the time spent by your Financial Coordinator reviewing statements for the entire month.
Happy Billing…and collecting!
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