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4 Takeaways from Susan Childs’ “Handling HDHPs” Webinar

Last week, industry expert Susan Childs presented the webinar, "Educate, Connect, Collect: Strategies to Handle High Deductible Health Plans," in which she shared insights about policies and methods that work—and practical suggestions for implementing and updating them.

Below are four points from the webinar worth remembering.

1. Use Discounts as Incentives for Patients to Pay

  • Make patients aware of any discounts they’re entitled to. Patients love discounts, which make them more inclined to pay the remaining balance immediately..
  • In the webinar, Susan offered descriptions and recommendations for a variety of discount types, including payer agreement, self-pay, high-deductible, charitable, and patient advocacy/bill mediation.

2. Understand Consumer-driven Behavior

  • Everyone today is looking around for best deals they can find—even when it comes to healthcare.
  • Consumer-driven patients tend to research more about healthcare options, react to advertising positively or negatively, and are more engaged with their own personal healthcare experience.  
  • Consumers today are looking for convenience, same-day appointments, direct pay, concierge care, and many other options that cater to their needs and wants. The bottom line is that patients are comparing everything—so make sure you’re giving them more value and convenience for their money and time than other providers.

3. Find Practical Ways to Help Patients Pay Their Bill

  • Be ready to tell your patients how much they own and ask for payment when they come in for their appointment—and preferably before you provide service.
  • The biggest barrier to helping patients pay is scheduling, which determines the workflow for your patients and staff. Analyze your staffing to see if you have too many or too few people to handle your workflows. Do you offer e-visits? Are you conducting surveys regularly so that you can continually improve your practice and the patient experience you provide?
  • Offer multiple payment options, such as payment plans and online payments, and know how to clearly state your policy and payment options and explain them in a variety of ways.
  • Above all, remember that being polite and empathetic with patients is key for increasing reimbursements. Train your staff with call scripts and examples of how to talk with patients and ask for money effectively and politely.

4. Utilize Technology to Collect Payments and Encourage Patients to Pay

  • Give patients the ability to set up online payment plans and pay their bills online in a variety of ways, such as through a patient portal, web entry, and with a kiosk.
  • E-statements + Online Payments = Increased and faster reimbursement and happier patients. Your practice can save an average of at least 50% by converting to e-statements.
  • By using a patient estimation tool, you can help patients know up front how much they will owe and collect their payments before you provide service. Offering a credit card on file option makes the payment process faster and more convenient for patients as well as staff.

Missed the live webinar? Attended it but wish you could share it with colleagues? Great news—we recorded it! Just click here to watch it now.