Importance of Adding Empathy in Medical Collections

December 16, 2020

Medical costs are becoming an overwhelming burden. Many patients have been left in a state of harrowing medical debt.  Now, more than ever, empathizing with the plight of your patients is key for your practice.

Rising Debt Due to Medical Expenses

High deductible health plans are one of the main reasons why medical costs are rising. 

These changes ballooned the debts of patients with unpaid medical bills. Statistics show that 20% of working Americans with health insurance were unable to pay their medical bills. Reports also show 31% of working Americans use money from their retirement, college, and savings accounts to pay their medical bills.

However, independent practices show better patient collection rates than larger health practices.. That’s due to a higher quality of patient-provider communication, giving a more intimate patient experience. Empathy is one important factor that makes this possible and here’s how you can add it to your medical collection philosophy:

How to Empathize in Medical Collections

Show Understanding and Compassion 

Always keep in mind that patients are going through problems,  including medical grief, health, financial problems, or crushing debt. Thus, approach them with empathy when discussing financial matters and give them little gestures of kindness. It could be a simple comforting smile or perhaps asking how they are doing. Patients are more likely to open up to you when you convey positivity, comfort, and kind gestures.

Offer other options

A Federal Reserve survey reported that 47% of Americans have an unpaid emergency medical bill of $400. If a patient can’t pay the bill immediately, remember that they might have a lot on their plate. Patients have multiple bills and debts to manage, even if the amount seems small to you. You can show your support and care for them by offering payment plans or accommodations which can increase patient loyalty.

Provide a Warm and Friendly Customer Service

Providing not only just quality customer care but a warm and friendly one is highly appreciated in any practice, especially in medical collections. Your billers should have always aim to give the best customer service by being empathetic so they can maintain a compassionate interaction.

Observe their Body Language

Remember that a patient’s ‘ financial situation can be a very delicate issue. They could’ve lost a job or they may be having financial problems. Empathizing can simply mean putting yourself in their position. Try to take note of their body language and notice any signs of anxiety and stress. You can offer emotional support through kind gestures and talking to them to give hope and comfort in their situation

Tap Into Our Expertise

At 5 Star Medical Billing, we offer the highest level of performance for high-quality medical billing. We understand best how important empathy is in medical collections. Talk to our experts to further improve your collections and be more empathetic to your patients. 

Schedule a consultation with our experts today!

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