So you’ve done your online patient payment and billing homework: adoption rates, effectiveness, must have solution tools. Selected an EBPP solution and sailed through implementation. And now, after opening the (virtual) doors, you’re all set for those online patient payments to just start rolling in.
But, if you’re like many offering a newly minted EBPP online patient billing solution, you might have a couple of burning questions. Like: where exactly are all those new patient registrations? Or: weren’t they supposed to jump at the chance to pay their bill online? And most importantly: now what?
Marketing Your EBPP Solution
Don’t panic. Like most things that are worthwhile (and EBPP absolutely is), getting a new online patient statement solution off the ground takes time. And getting it to the point that it’s effective and used by a healthy percentage of your patient base takes some old-fashioned, roll-the-sleeves-up effort. So while patience is a virtue, a targeted plan is even more beneficial.
Some effective and affordable strategies to get your online payment message out in front of patient include:
1). Initiate Sign Up at Registration: Where to start talking to patients about eStatments? At the beginning of the treatment process, of course. Engage patients early on by training your patient access employees to walk patients through the enrollment steps and by using a simple email sign-up box on traditional registration forms. Having informative support materials and an EBPP FAQ on hand also helps overcome the kind of resistance that causes patients to opt for the traditional-statement-path-of-least resistance.
2). Leverage Your Paper Patient Statements: Whether it’s something as intricate as a personalized website link and password on your paper statements (to drive patients to a pre-populated payment page), or as simple as integrating an emphatic call out box or splashy advertisement into the bill itself, it’s essential that you use traditional billing as a way to get the word out to new patients. After all, statements are already sent to all your self-pay patients, making it an efficient and powerful communication tool.
3). Make It Ridiculously Easy to Find Online: If you want patients to know about your online patient payment solution, don’t bury the lead. That means providing a general call-to-action link that’s easy to find on the homepage (e.g. somewhere in the main navigation menu/area of your page). But easy-to-find alone isn’t enough. To convert the most patients to EBPP, you need to grab attention by actively marketing your impressive new app online. Using large, colorful, prominently-placed banner ads and call-to-action buttons on your homepage is a high-impact, affordable way to do just that.
4). Shout It from Your Social Media: You use Twitter, Facebook, blogs and email to connect with patients, right? Why not consider using those channels to broadcast the benefits of EBPP? Better yet, impart on your staff the importance of EBPP and let them use word-of-mouth (that old-fashioned social media) to help get the message out to patients.
5). Put It in Print: Including an informative, attention-grabbing insert with your statements in the weeks and months following EBPP implementation is a smart pull strategy; leveraging the impressive reach of your self-pay statements without disrupting the payment process. Another simple but effective tip: incorporate your EBPP web information, step-by-step instructions and a selection of key benefits on welcome packets and other printed materials that you provide to current (and prospective) patients.
6). Make It Worth Your Patients’ While: Online payment has a real, quantifiable impact on revenue cycle overhead and effectiveness. It speeds payment and reduces common statement processing costs. So it makes sense to consider every possible option, including monetary, to induce patients to make the switch. That covers discounts, special pay terms, and even non-patient financial incentives, like promotional items or special gifts.
So rest easy: by experimenting with these strategies (and making EBPP an indispensible part of your revenue cycle operations), your eStatement application will be swamped with patients in no time.
If you’d like to learn more about our EBPP solution, or our suite of really smart, really productive revenue cycle solutions, schedule a free consultation with the patient statement pros at Elite.
Have you had success using other strategies to market your online payment solution? Let us know!