Medical billing can be an incessant and time-consuming process for everyone involved. It’s easy to lose track of a conversation when there is so much back-and-forth between medical providers, insurance companies, and patients. The archaic nature of medical billing is one of the reasons why most bills go unpaid, which leads to large medical debt. In the past year, medical debt in the U.S. totaled close to $140 billion.
One solution is to use business texting to send and collect medical bills from patients. Business texting is a gentle and direct way to let patients know how much they owe, and MMS and link-sharing also make it easy to collect payments via text.
Why do late or delinquent payments occur?
Late or delinquent payments can occur for several reasons. One of the most common reasons patients don’t pay or forget to pay a bill is simply due to forgetfulness. Other reasons why a patient may not pay a medical bill on time can include:
- Insufficient funds
- Insurance disputes
- Misplaced mail
- Technology restrictions
- Confusion on how to pay
- Communicating on channels they don’t use
Using business texting can make it easier for patients to access and pay their medical bills because almost all patients are already using texting in their daily life — at least 81 percent of Americans text regularly. HIPAA-compliant texting makes it secure and legal for hospitals and medical providers to send and receive patient information, like bills and payment links. Forty-three percent of customers surveyed said they are more likely to opt into texts for healthcare industries. It’s a convenient and efficient channel for both parties.
4 ways to use business texting for medical billing
There are a handful of ways to use business SMS to send and collect medical billing effectively.
1. Send a payment link directly
One of the best ways to use business texting to collect medical bills is to send a direct payment link to patients. Sending a link that takes patients straight to a payment page cuts out any confusion on their end. It also encourages them to pay immediately since the link is straightforward to complete.
2. Send a simple reminder
Texts have an average open rate of 98 percent, which is a guarantee that most patients will see a text reminder.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the most common reasons patients don’t pay their bills is because they forget. Healthcare businesses can send a simple text reminder to let patients know that they have a payment due. Or they can send a follow-up text to alert patients to overdue bills.
3. Use MMS to share bills
An alternative to sending a text reminder or link is to share medical bills using MMS. On Textline, healthcare offices can send and receive photos and PDF files directly to and from patients. It’s an easy way for patients to access their medical bills, and it also gives them a place to ask any follow-up questions.
4. Answer patient questions
Health literacy is a massive issue for patients in North America. A lack of understanding complex medical terms or the inability to access their medical information can make it difficult for patients to pay their bills. Because business texting allows for two-way communication, healthcare companies can use it to answer any patient questions that are inhibiting them from making a payment.
The bottom line
Business texting is a convenient, friendly, and effective way for healthcare offices to share and collect billing. Likewise, it’s also an accepted method of communication for most patients in a technology-driven world.