In this Part 2 about how to decrease incoming calls to your physician office, let’s take a look at how to cut calls about billing issues. First and obvious, collect as much as you can at the time of service. Not sending bills for copays reduces the costs involved for everything from sending statements to follow up calls and reduces your A/R. Implementing a credit card on file policy for balances due helps even more by eliminated calls about coinsurance, deductible, and A/R balance due amounts. Using a patient portal that is also integrated with your billing system allows patients to see their bill and billing history and make payments online, further reducing calls and A/R while improving collections.
By reducing many of the most common calls your medical practice gets through the use of better technology, you can also reduce the time patients spend waiting on the phone. Unnecessary wait times causes patients to get frustrated, hang up the phone, and impacts overall patient satisfaction with your office. If a patient is calling to pay a bill or schedule a non-urgent appointment, you may have missed that opportunity and lost that revenue.
Finally, reducing incoming calls also means you have opportunities to pursue other activities like recall programs. Most physician practices I deal with have terrible recall programs, thus missing out on potential revenue. This is where an EHR can really help you – have it run reports on patients that may be due for a recall.