By David Crooks President, Easy Pay Solutions, Inc., CMT Special Contributor
One of the uphill challenges of Concierge Medicine is attracting and maintaining an adequate, paying membership base. Marketing experts abound when it comes to advice on how to get the public’s attention and promote your practice. While these experts do a great job of communicating that your practice is accessible and caring, they don’t often address one of the most significant barriers to potential patients: affordability.
Why Is Collecting Patient Payments SO HARD?!
There is an untapped market of potential concierge patients in your community that would love to have you as their doctor but are faced with a significant barrier. They don’t think they can afford you. Younger patients just starting their careers, people with children, and busy executives all desire to experience a better level of care and accessibility than they are currently getting. They could be at your door if you offer them a way to overcome their perceived notion that they can’t afford you.
That perception is often validated in their mind if you have a relatively high, single payment, annual membership fee. While the people would like to come to your practice, these potential patients often can’t pay for it in a single annual membership fee. Here’s how to lower the barrier and attract patients that will appreciate your approach and be glad to pay you. Take the challenge to double your patient base by making it easier for people to afford the luxury of concierge medicine.
Step 1: Offer Monthly Membership Payments.
Many of your potential patients just can’t come up with an annual membership premium but are capable of lower monthly payments. You can eliminate this barrier by offering membership payment plans that are more in line with their income cycles. A simple ‘Google’ search for businesses that have added monthly payment plans reveals that they double their business (or more) shortly after they implement the plans. Consumers (your patients) love the option of having more time to pay. And they will appreciate the fact that you made it easy to be their doctor.
Step 2: Make the Terms Clear and Get a Signature.
There is much about medicine that is unclear to a patient. Making your membership payment agreement clear, simple and requiring a signature protects you…and indicates the patient understands and commits to it.
Step 3: Automate the Monthly Membership Payments.
Once you have a signed agreement, make processing payments easy on your staff. Automating this is key to your practice collecting payments efficiently and to patient satisfaction. Automatically send patients an email after each payment so they know that their membership is paid up. Automating payments will also make collection calls and billing unnecessary, saving staff time. And it will insure regular cash flow, smooth operations, and prevent stress for your staff.
3-Step Plan to Stress-Free Patient Collections
Three simple steps will eliminate the perceived barrier for many people who can afford to be concierge patients and contribute to the growth of your practice. Patients will continue to renew their contract every year if the service is affordable and you make payment easy.
About David S. Crooks, President,Easy Pay Solutions, Inc.
CONTACT INFO.: David S. Crooks and/or Jim Turner, VP Marketing Easy Pay Solutions www.easypaycollect.com | TEL: 877.715.7166
Mr. Crooks is currently the president of Easy Pay Solutions, Inc., a Chicago-‐based company focused on helping healthcare providers expedite patient payments while reducing bad debts and patient receivables. The company’s Easy Pay cloud-‐based software provides an enhanced way to utilize credit/debit cards, storing the patient’s credit card information for later processing. This puts the provider in control of when he/she gets paid by patients. In addition, Easy Pay provides the traditional single payment feature, as well as the ability to use credit/debit cards for payment plans and phone collections.