Many hospitals today are facing significant financial challenges. So are their patients. While both of these parties share a similar struggle, what they don’t often share is a quick and easy way to communicate about paying for healthcare given and received.
This is especially true now, as co-pays and high deductibles continue to rise and patients are shouldering more and more of the healthcare bill. When patients have a hard time paying their bills, this can put hospitals in the unenviable position of becoming a bill collector. And while most people love their doctors, nobody loves their bill collectors.
The traditional methods of trying to help patients pay their bills online aren’t as effective as they used to be. Most organizations will send letters and leave voicemails, but these often result in months of delay as hospitals wait for a patient to respond to the first, second, third, maybe even the fourth attempt.
That antiquated process vacuums up a vast amount of time and resources for everyone involved. What if there was a way for hospitals and patients to dramatically simplify and improve the effectiveness of their patient outreach efforts, especially when it comes to collecting payments?
Today, hospitals across the country are finding great success in shifting their patient engagement and bill collection efforts to the patient’s phone. Not through emails, because the average person only opens about 20% of the emails they receive. But this same average person opens 98% of their texts. (1)
Consequently, hospitals that move from emails and letters to text messages are finding new success in patient retention, patient satisfaction, reduced AR, and increased revenue. This also means that fewer patients have to experience the “bill collector” side of their favorite hospital.
The patients of these texting hospitals love the simplicity of safely and securely paying their bills with a text. They can even set up payment plans and receive reminders without ever having to leave their messaging inbox.
The billing teams of these hospitals also love the self-service nature of text-to-pay, and find that they have much more time to focus on other tasks, instead of chasing patient payments.
Healthcare organizations using our texting platform can send bulk messages, create custom templates, have robust reporting and analytics around their communication efforts, incorporate texting patients and payments received through texting into their revenue cycle, and can respond to patients when they text back.
Here’s what our hospital partners have to say about using texting to help their patients pay on time:
What have your patients said about text to pay?
I have seen a lot of people who we’ve had trouble with in the past. They just they keep forgetting to pay their bills. But we’ve had many, even today, where they’ve they got the text and they paid it immediately. Whereas before it would usually take three or four or five letters, or the threat of collections to get them to pay.Teresa – Patient Billing Specialist
It has reduced the amount of workload on my billers on sending and chasing low amounts of money. It’s been freeing up their time to work on higher dollar claims or more sophisticated claims, that’s been very beneficial. I know that I’m saving a ton of time in the billing office, not sending statements for $3 or just wasting time sending statements, because the majority of them are going out in a text message and then we’re seeing a percentage of those being paid from the text messaging service. Somebody told me that it’s about $25 to send a billing statement to a patient by the time you calculate all the costs that go into the process. So anytime we can save one statement from going out the door, that is a win. And Redde is doing that for us over and over on a daily basis.Farley, CFO
We’ve got a lot more payments coming in than we did before. Especially credit card wise. We used to send a lot of bills through the mail, but now we get a lot more money faster than we did before.Mindy, Billing Manager
I’d be one to fight and argue and say our population is too rural, too old, too. Whatever you wanna call it to fully jump in and utilize technology. But I’ve been 100% wrong. But I’m wrong because we tried it before with a lesser application to text and to reach out to patients, but the functionality with the texting was so limited that it just didn’t work. So now we have patients, you know, 80 years plus and age that are willing to respond to an appointment reminder or willing to make payments or willing to set up a radiology visit because of the text message they received and again the patient population that we serve is extremely rural. But even to that market, this is important and they’re utilizing it. So as far as what it’s done for our business, it’s made the work that our receptionists are doing quicker because they’re no longer looking through and finding phone numbers, making phone calls, not getting people to answer worrying: Can I leave a voicemail? Can I not? Is this a secured inbox? To now we can go through and do 50 patients in 15 minutes and they all have messages and we get a response back. Even those that we don’t contact, they’re texting us saying hey, we’re coming or no, we need to reschedule. So it’s been a win from our patient side and also staff.Farley, CFO
I have a couple of people on autopay and I’ve called them and their voicemail says I don’t do voicemail, text me. And we didn’t have that capability before. I’ve found that for a lot of our patients that are in the younger demographic, they don’t want to deal with voicemail and really don’t want to deal with calling someone over the phone. But they’ve been a lot more responsive with text messages.Teresa, Patient Billing Specialist
It’s been wonderful. We can just text patients and say, hey, the letter we sent you came back, we need a better address. We can also text patients to ask about medical or auto or any kind of insurance information. It’s been a great benefit.Kelly, HIM Director
Overall, everybody’s been really happy with it. We had a patient who signed up and said “I’ve been waiting for you guys to get something like this for ages.”Teresa, Patient Billing Specialist
Have your daily and weekly financials changed since the implementation of red, if so how?
We have gotten payments and we’re seeing payments from people that have historically been very, very, very delinquent or wouldn’t pay at all. For some reason getting a text message to say, ‘make a payment’ means more than getting a letter that I can throw in the dash of the truck and never open again. The payment process is smoother and a whole lot easier for getting payments from folks that historically wouldn’t make them.Farley, CFO
We’re seeing a quicker turn around from patients with how easy it is and accessible it is to submit a payment. We’re seeing patients pay who have not paid in the past. We’re definitely seeing an increase of money and a rise in the number of payments coming in on a regular basis.Mindy, Billing Manager
Hospitals and patients alike love this text-to-pay process. Partly because Redde helps hospitals bring their patient billing processes into the 21st century.
Texting with Redde is
- Safe, secure, HIPAA compliant
- No character limits
- No limits on number of texts sent
- Includes inbound and outbound messages
- Automated sending of messages for reminders, etc.
- …and so much more
If you’d like to learn more about how to use texting to simultaneously decrease your accounts receivable, increase patient engagement and retention, and make life easier for your patients and billing teams, check out this link below:
You can reach out if you have any questions, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Source: https://mobilemonkey.com/blog/sms-marketing-statistics
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