Self-Pay Revenue After the Pandemic

By Cari Wade Gervin
Friday, July 30, 2021

Think patient-friendly to get the best outcomes.

Before the pandemic, about 80% of hospitals’ self-pay revenue came from just 30% of patients who were uninsured or who had out-of-pocket costs after insurance. But COVID-19 has driven that number up for most practices. If you’re struggling to recoup payment, you’re not alone. Here are some tips for improving the process.

  • Communication is key. Digital tools that allow patients to estimate costs up front, see bills online and easily ask billing questions reduce friction and increase payment percentages. However, make sure nondigital options are available for older patients who may not be as comfortable online.
  • Expand patient registration. In addition to collecting patient address and insurance information, use software that can verify its accuracy. Also, consider making financial counseling available before treatment and/or after hospitalization so that patients who may need a structured payment plan know how much they need to be prepared to spend.
  • Outsource effectively. If you’re working with an external agency to follow up on missing payments, hire one that is flexible and willing to work with patients. Humanizing healthcare costs, especially during this time when many patients are struggling financially, will ensure a higher likelihood of repayment and better word-of-mouth about your practice.