Here at ePaper Road, we talk about the opportunity cost of processing patient record requests. Sure, your practice generates a little income from the fees for each response, but after you pay for your staff’s time, that revenue shrinks significantly. For example, if you pay your team $16 per hour, and they can process four patient record requests in an hour, at $6.50 per request, you’re bringing in $26 for those requests, netting you $10 for the hour.
If your staff didn’t have to spend their time processing patient record requests, they could be completing other tasks that could generate more income for your practice.
One of the examples, we use frequently is calling patients to encourage them to schedule and attend their annual wellness appointment. For instance, if your staff member calls 20 patients in an hour, maybe they’ll talk to six patients, and schedule four appointments. If each annual physical generates $150, that means that an hour of their time could create you $600 in income. But what else could they be doing to get patients into your office and increase your practice’s revenue?
Calling patients with appointment reminders
In addition to calling patients to encourage them to schedule their annual wellness appointments or other health screenings, you could have a staff member call patients to remind them about their upcoming appointments. If you have a busy practice, patients may need to book appointments with you months in advance. A quick call a day or two before their appointment with a reminder of your cancellation policy ensures that more patients turn up for their appointments.
Following up on billing
While patient co-pays make up approximately 20% of your income, statistically, only 60% of patients pay their part of their bills. There are plenty of reasons why, but let’s focus on how you can get more of what you’re due. You can train your staff to ask your patients for payments due when they check in for appointments.
Additionally, you can have a member of your team call patients with balances. While you may always have patients who can’t or won’t pay, since insurance billing and deductibles are not always clear to the user, they might not know that they owe you anything.
Your goal is to fill up your schedule with appoints as there are inevitable no-shows. But your patients need to be able to get through to your office to schedule those appointments in the first place. Busy adults often put their own health on the backburner anyway and are more likely to delay booking their medical appointments if it’s not easy to contact your office. Make sure that your team answers the phones or returns messages on the same day.
Talking to patients in the office
Patients want to feel recognized and respected. Your staff can make your patients feel like part of the family by taking time to answer their questions, help them navigate insurance questions, and providing a friendly, efficient service. Patients have more choice than ever when it comes to health care, and treating them as valued members of your community inspires loyalty and referrals.
So why are you having your employees waste their time on responding to patient record requests when they could be building relationships with your patients, following up on unpaid bills, and encouraging your patients to book and attend their appointments? ePaper Road takes the work out of responding to patient record requests. Your staff merely direct the requester to the ePaper Road website, where they make the request. We verify their identity, access the necessary records via a secure VPN, and send the information. Contact us to learn more about how ePaper Road can reduce the burden of responding to patient record requests.