5 Tips to Get Paid from Late Paying Patients

November 13, 2016

Some patients are going to give you trouble when it comes to paying on time. Here are some tips to get what you've earned.

You may have a patient that never seems to pay their medical bills on time. In fact, nearly 64 percent of all small business owners have past-due invoices that are 60 days old or even older. You'd have to imagine that the percentages are even worse for doctors' offices and other medical practices.

We've thought of a few possible reasons why you're finding it difficult to get paid from some patients of your medical practice. Try any one of these tips, or utilize all five, and your patient payment problems should quickly come to an end.

Customer follow-up sequence - An effective way to ensure your medical practice receives payments on time is to put a customer follow-up sequence in place. What do we mean? Well, some patients are notorious for paying late. In order to avoid late payments as much as possible, it's important to schedule regular follow-up messages (via phone, text message, or email) with them. By doing this, you can let them know which invoices have not been paid, and you can remind them when payment is due soon or past due. The more you keep on top of late paying patients, the less time you'll have to wait to get paid.

Threats will get you nowhere – We understand your frustration when it comes to late paying patients. Getting angry and making threats will all but guarantee you have an impossible time collecting payments on past due invoices. Patients never want to feel threatened. If you make threats, or even infer them, your doctor/patient relationship will crumble. And when the relationship falls apart, the patient will no longer feel obligated to pay their open invoices on time, if they ever pay them at all.

Send past-due invoice notices – =In an effort to avoid late payments, it's always best to send reminders to patients in the form of past due invoice notices. To be clear, you shouldn't send these notices to every patient. Patients that pay regularly and on time might take offense. When you have patients that do not pay on time; everything is fair game. In this situation, you should feel more than comfortable sending past-due reminder notices.

Have your lawyer send a demand letter – No doctor or medical practice hopes it ever has to get this far, but in some cases your lawyer will need to send your late paying patients a demand letter. In this letter, you'll inform the patient of potential legal consequences if they continue to ignore paying their open invoices. The demand letter must be mailed via certified mail. And it must come from your attorney. It's just a preliminary letter letting the patient know that you are ready to take them to court if they do not pay.

• Hire a collections agency – If you prefer to avoid taking your patients to court, hiring a debt collection service is the next best thing. This professional agency will help you recover outstanding payments for a nominal fee.

 

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.