Handling medical billing paperwork can be a frustrating and even costly aspect of running a medical practice. Administrative team members stress about the need to get envelopes, stamps, and paperwork filed and sent to the right addresses. In addition, medical offices end up spending a chunk of their budget each month on printing and distributing these bills.
Traditionally, the process of sending medical billing by mail has been the best option for payment collection other than in-office processing. However, technological advances have opened up a range of other options for medical practices. In order to optimize your practice’s billing, it’s advisable to consider some of these more technologically sophisticated possibilities.
A major advantage of using technology to handle your office’s billing is that the process is able to be automated. Automation is a bit of a buzzword right now, but all it means is relying on software and non-human intelligence to speed up and make more efficient some of the menial tasks your employees currently perform themselves. Automating tasks like payment collection frees up your employees to focus on more important responsibilities, such as building a quality patient experience.
The goal of this blog post is to explain how to automate your medical billing. Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of setting up automated billing in your office. Once you have the right technological solutions in place, you can optimize your payment collection with relative ease.
Accept a wider range of cards
Medical practices limit their ability to attract new patients and increase revenue when they only accept a few types of credit cards. In general, broadening your practice’s payment options will also broaden your patient base. While younger clients may prefer debit cards and prepaid cards, older patients might want to use credit or HSA cards.
To have an effective automated payment processing system, your business needs to accept this diverse range of cards. That includes different brands, like Visa, AmericanExpress, Discover, and MasterCard, as well as various types, like credit, debit, HSA/FSA, and prepaid. Accepting this variety lets you automate your payment processing for a wider demographic.
Starting collecting from mobile wallets
Although medical practices have traditionally relied on cash, checks, and cards for payments, there’s a current trend toward more digital payments. It’s much easier to automate digital payments than traditional ones. That’s because traditional payments usually require some sort of physical exchange of coins, paper, or plastic.
Not all of your patients want to transition to digital payments, but there are plenty of consumers that are eager to find businesses that collect digital payments from mobile wallets. By embracing digital payments, you’re able to automate more processes and find better ways for your employees to build your practice. Mobile wallets are provided by companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft.
Send payment requests by text
Perhaps the simplest way to automate your payments is to get card numbers on file and text payment requests to your patients. Text payments are handled by sending a request to clients immediately following appointments, allowing them to pay for services without stopping at the front desk. This practice creates more space and order in your waiting room.
Collecting payments digitally also gets around billing paperwork altogether. If your office can get its patients to pay for their visits digitally, you can avoid having to print out and mail hundreds of invoices each month. Instead, send a brief text message with a link to a secure payment site.
Choose a flat rate for transaction fees
One of the more complicated aspects of medical billing paperwork is understanding why your practice is being charged certain fees for transactions. Even experienced administrative teams can forget about or be confused by payment processing fees. Automated billing can get around these complexities by charging you a flat rate for each transaction.
Though we often think of technology as inherently complex, it’s really intended to simplify our lives. With the right payment platform, all of your payment processing becomes easier to navigate, for both employees and patients. If you’re tired of having to check for unexpected processing fees each month, consider converting to a platform with a flat rate.
Secure your payment processing
Payment collection can be messy business without secure payment processing. This processing needs to be compatible with automation to be fully optimized. Bringing together processing security and automation is a great way to avoid the fatigue associated with your usual medical billing paperwork.
For example, Stripe is one of the largest and most secure payment companies on today’s market. On average, businesses using Stripe attribute a 6.7% increase in their revenue to the Stripe platform. Going with an established payment company as you’re moving toward more automation in your office give you the security to alter your payment collection strategy.
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Pivot to electronic invoices
As previously mentioned, mailing out your invoices is a drain on your office’s budget, materials, and productivity. You’ve probably noticed that many other businesses and industries are using electronic invoices for collecting payments. Pivoting to electronic invoices has a number of benefits for medical practices.
Electronic invoices let your office save on expenses for paper, envelopes, and stamps. It’s also less of a headache for your employees to send out invoices when they’re able to take care of it from behind a computer. Once your payment requests are automated, all employees have to do is check to make sure your patients are actually making payments on time.
Collect payments by email
Automatic payments can be collected through mobile wallets and text requests, but did you know patients can also pay by email? Most medical practices rely on email for more detailed communication with their clients. However, many offices fail to channel the full potential of an effective email outreach.
Email marketing experts have developed software for professionalizing your office’s emails. Within this type of tool are features like pre-written templates, an image library, and CTA (Call to Action) buttons. After familiarizing themselves with these features, your employees can quickly set up campaigns for collecting outstanding balances instead of making individual calls or mailing individual invoices.
Gather payment analytics
Today’s business world is driven by the ability to collect and interpret data. Your medical practice should be making an effort to collect data about patient communication, patient preferences, and payments. Automating your payments with the right payment platform can give you more insight into the best way to collect payments effectively.
By automating your payments, you have an electronic record of when and how patients are paying for medical services. You’ll need a user-friendly interface to access and interpret these statistics. As your practice accumulates data about payments, you’ll be able to reconfigure your processes and develop a clearer strategy for how to collect payments.
Use a single payment platform
So far, we’ve discussed a whole range of payment methods: cash, checks, cards, mobile wallets, and text payments. If your office is trying to expand its payment methods, it can be overwhelming to think about collecting in all these different ways. Finding a single payment platform for both traditional and digital payments can relieve the stress of diversifying your payment collection.
The right payment platform should allow your patients to pay for medical visits however they choose. If they want to stick with cash and checks, your payment platform should accommodate this preference. If they’d rather move toward digital transactions, your platform should make it easy for you to automate collections, giving your team the flexibility to focus on other tasks.
Try Weave Payments
For medical practices that are looking to automate their payment processing, Weave Payments is an essential tool. It provides offices with the ability to collect cash, check, card, and digital payments from one payment platform. It offers secure payment processing and a flat processing rate for each transaction.
Weave Payments lets your office move toward electronic invoices in place of the paperwork, stamps, and envelopes that take up your administrative team’s time each month. By sending payment requests by text, you are able to allow patients to pay from anywhere and better follow social distancing guidelines. Our Payment Analytics ensure that your practice can evaluate its payment collections and determine how to handle payments in the future.
To learn more about how to automate your payments with Weave, schedule a demo today.