Dec 3, 2020

Prioritizing Patient Retention For 2021: Understanding Why Patients Switch Providers

Regardless of which branch of healthcare you operate in, every organization strives to acquire new patients. Few practices realize that patient retention is also critical, however, and fail to devote the necessary time and energy into making sure that their current patients stay patients long-term. 

At Wellpay we understand just how important it is to show your current patients how critical they are to your success by giving them the best possible experience, and we provide a number of tools designed to help you demonstrate your practice’s value to your patients while providing them with a billing experience that’s simple, pleasant, and communicative from start to finish. By focusing on retaining existing clients through improving your internal processes and tailoring your billing solutions to fit your patients’ needs, you set yourself up to create a reliable, committed customer base that will continue to bring you business. 

Here are a few key ways your practice can prioritize patient retention in the upcoming year:

#1: Support Your Staff With The Right Tools

Your front-office staff interact directly with patients and, in many cases, are their first point of contact at your practice. As a result they play a crucial role in improving patients’ overall experiences at your practice and, subsequently, their decision to return or not. Unfortunately, many of these employees find themselves tugged in different directions as they try to do more work with less help, and the patient experience suffers as a result. 

At Wellpay we understand that a significant amount of employee time at many practices is wasted on billing and collections efforts, whether it’s sending out paper invoices, following up with patients over the phone about outstanding bills, etc. Frankly, that’s just not how it should be! We’ve created a platform that streamlines and automates the entire billing and collections process. We take on all of the tedious patient communication, invoicing, and collections-related tasks so that your staff’s time is freed up to do what they do for your patients. 

#2: Maintain Patient Relationships Through Communication 

Though it is relatively easy to communicate with patients while within your walls, it’s far more difficult to have meaningful interactions from afar. Remember to keep your patients in the loop with personalized appointment reminders, chit-chat during appointments, and personal phone calls with results. 

Once services have been rendered, maintain that clear and positive communication throughout your billing process as well by using a service like Wellpay to provide simple, easy-to-understand bills via text and email, as well as automated reminders about payments, dispute updates, and more.

#3: Provide Convenient Services

We live in a busy world, and patients’ lives are becoming ever-more-complicated as they try to juggle working from home, facilitating virtual schooling for their children, and so many other COVID-induced changes. Time is money right now, and as a provider, one of the best things you can do to improve your patient’s experience with your practice (and earn their loyalty) is to provide convenient services that take their time into consideration. 

Offering digital payment solutions, accepting a variety of payment methods, and having Autopay features available to your patients will go a long way towards taking the hassle out of your billing process. It allows patients to pay on the go, wherever they want, and however they want - it doesn’t get more convenient than that!

#4: Take Patient Feedback

Reviews and patient feedback are the only way you will truly know how well you are serving your patients. It’s better to request that your clients fill out a questionnaire than assume that everyone is satisfied with your services, staff, communication and billing process. Remember to take any criticism positively - this is an opportunity to improve and increase your patient retention. Whether you ask for feedback while the patient is still in your care or after they have gone home, make addressing reviews part of your weekly rotation.

#5: Adapt To Technology 

Until recently, the healthcare sector was slow in its adaptation of new technologies. In fact, 41% of patients said they’d consider switching to a provider who offered a better digital experience, especially when it came to billing. COVID is highlighting the need for digitization,  and patients have come to expect digital services from their providers when it comes to their care and to their billing. Digital billing solutions like ours enable providers to meet the growing digital needs of their patients and improve their overall experience, something that is proving ever so crucial in retaining current patients and in attracting new ones.

If you want to see how a digital billing platform like Wellpay can help streamline your healthcare collections process, improve patient communication, and increase patient retention by freeing up your staff so they can devote the additional time necessary to cultivating an exceptional patient experience, then sign up for a free trial of our platform or speak to one of our representatives today!

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