Direct Mail

Patient Statements: Challenges, Tips & Solutions

By 31 March 2024April 25th, 2024No Comments
print and mail patient statement services

12 Best Practices to Help You Draft Responsive Patient Statements That Pay

Hospitals, clinics, nursing centers, and other healthcare organizations use patient statements to inform patients of their dues. These billing instruments help explain insurance coverage, the amount due, payment methods, etc.

Do you know how much a hospital spends to send a patient statement to all patients monthly?

The average patient needs 2.8 healthcare statements before they honor their dues. And every item costs 60c to 70c.

b2b leads

Sending thousands of these bills weekly and monthly can exploit the organization's revenue and impact operational efficiency.

What is the solution to cut expenses and expedite payments?

What other challenges do medical organizations face when they generate patient statements and ship them via post?

This article discusses these answers with the top 12 tips to manage patient documents without hassles and high expenses.

Let us dive in!

What Are Patients Statements and Why Send Them?

Healthcare statements summarize a patient's treatment and the corresponding charges. They also contain information regarding the patient's location, doctor's name, insurance coverage, etc.

But what is the purpose of patient statements?

The primary motive for sending statements or related documents to all patients with amount dues is to expedite collections.

Nearly 41% of adults have a medical debt between $500 and $10,000 or more.

medical debt

Source: https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/the-burden-of-medical-debt-in-the-united-states/

It indicates healthcare institutions face the risk of bad debt, negatively affecting their revenue and service quality.

Sending medical statements is a part of their overall revenue cycle management. It allows organizations to keep patients in the loop and regularly update them about their dues.

These patient statements have many purposes, including

  • Avoiding confusion between patients and healthcare providers
  • Enhancing communication
  • Informing patients how much their insurance can cover
  • Summarizing the services a patient availed throughout their treatment, and
  • Improving collection ratios by reminding patients of their amount of dues

How Often Should Patients Receive a Billing Statement?

  • It is best to curate a monthly billing cycle to stay in touch with patients but not overwhelm them with too many bills.
  • You may draft a patient statement in medical billing instantly after patients receive healthcare from your organization. You should instruct your billing department to only store, print, and ship these items once per month.
  • Set a specific date — say the tenth of every month to ship patient statements at the correct time. Keep tabs on every healthcare consumer in your records to track payments and plan upcoming steps.

Some hospitals send e-statements to connect with patients quickly and conveniently. They might email them two to three times weekly, reminding them of their total dues and the due date. Though it works faster than direct mail and helps you save on costs, emailing medical statements cannot produce the desired results.

Using direct mailing to communicate with patients is more effective because mail messages seem more significant than emails.

The average person has 1,602 unopened emails and 47 text messages.

Text anxiety can keep people from responding to electronic correspondence, making snail mail the first choice for many companies.

Direct mail is also attention-grabbing, engaging, and response-driving, fulfilling your objectives of sending patient billing statements to all patients.

What Are the Challenges Healthcare Providers Face When Managing Patient Statements?

Healthcare institutions encounter many obstacles during printing and mailing statements. They draft hundreds of bills daily, making it hard to handle the process in-house.

Also, recovering payments is puzzling and stressful, with patients becoming more reluctant to pay bills on time.

High Healthcare Costs

Healthcare expenses grew 2.7% in 2021, with medical services costing $12,914 per individual.

In 2024, these expenses will increase to over $13,800 per person.

What does that mean for your patient statement in medical billing processes?

The increasing healthcare spending signifies more patients might avoid clearing their dues. Thus, hospitals and other health-related organizations might encounter high bad debt ratios and a lengthy medical collection process.

Drafting an accurate and informational patient statement for all healthcare consumers can help ease this situation and keep the revenue cycle running!

transformative impact of inflation on the healthcare sector

Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare/our-insights/the-gathering-storm-the-transformative-impact-of-inflation-on-the-healthcare-sector

High Unemployment

The rising unemployment rates and layoffs significantly impact the healthcare sector.  Medical payments are harder to recover when patients are out of work.

According to the US Census Bureau, 19% of households cannot afford to pay for healthcare instantly. Offering discount policies, sending medical statements frequently, and providing various payment options can enable hospitals to manage unpaid bills.

Failure to Be Upfront and Accurate

If you put off contacting patients and asking for bill payments, it is time to rethink your payment collection plans. Remember that the first patient account statement should be friendly. Once you have sent the first two or three bills and have not received a reply, you may need to refine your language.

Many healthcare providers don't confront the collection issue because they want to maintain healthy patient relationships.

But it can add to the patient statement, and they might never revisit you!

Consider this fact-

Almost 7 out of 10 people skip doctor appointments and treatment because of high costs.

us putting off medical care due to cost

Source: https://www.healthpopuli.com/2023/01/23/record-numbers-of-people-in-the-u-s-putting-off-medical-care-due-to-cost/

There are high chances of your past patients switching to other healthcare providers if they don't pay your bills for an extended period!

Hence, try to speed up patients and keep medical statements shorter to prevent patients from walking out with unpaid bills worth thousands.

Daunting and Time-Consuming Processes

It takes hours and days for hospital staff to print and ship patient statements to the correct addresses. It involves several manual tasks, from stuffing bills into envelopes and affixing stamps to assembling and taking them to the Post Office.

Healthcare organizations must employ automated solutions to generate patient statements accurately and affordably. PostGrid's print and mail services can help you streamline your patient statement shipping activities and assist you from the start to the end!

Consumer Protection Rules

The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) regulates payment collections and third-party interventions. It protects healthcare and other consumers against abusive and unfair collection methods. They can limit your organization from contacting and asking patients to pay.

Thus, ensure your medical statements comply with data privacy, consumer protection, and other laws. Use PostGrid's print and mail API to send HIPAA-compliant mailers that help you achieve your goals securely and legally!

12 Best Practices to Help You Send Patient Statements

You may improve your patient statement processes using several tips and techniques. Here are the top things you can do to boost efficiency, save money, and improve results.

1. Avoid Shipping Delays

The average amount in bad debts across 4,500 US hospitals is $11.5 million

If you want to prevent your hospital from appearing in this list, send your patient statements in time.

Unnecessary delays can cause more patients to forget their past dues and not pay the bills. Ensure your patient statements are generated within one business day from when a person avails of your medical services. It allows you to enter the necessary details into your system without skipping any transaction.

Work overload is the primary cause of delays in sending statements to patients. Your staff members could be busy with other activities, pushing patient's finance statement printing and mailing out of the schedule.

The best way to deal with this problem is to prioritize billing activities. Relieve your team from some tasks to make adequate time to send statements. Or use PostGrid's automated print and mail solutions to take over your workload and boost productivity. 

2. Draft Easy-to-Understand Medical Statements

Informing patients of their medical dues and convincing them to pay is your primary objective in shipping medical statements and bills. However, adding confusing information that patients find hard to grasp kills the purpose.

Make your patient statements simple and skimmable. When a person gets your mail, they should know what it's about and what you expect them to do. It also helps avoid excessive phone calls from confused patients to clarify the billing messages.

Avoid complex medical codes and jargon to resonate with your audience. This practice lets you communicate with your patients clearly and convince them to fulfill their payment. 

Here are some more tips to improve a patient statement in medical billing:

  • Use broad and understandable fonts. Please refrain from using fancy fonts that make it hard for patients to read your statements. Instead, opt for visible and unambiguous options like Arial and Times New Roman to get your message across without issues. 
  • Avoid underlining sentences and italics. These formatting options make your patient statements look unprofessional and can distract the readers.
  • Use adequate white space to let your statements breathe. It allows recipients to pay attention to every element and complete the CTA. 
  • You can add links to your website or other pages to provide additional information instead of stuffing too many details in only one statement. 
  • Always use a plain white background for your patient statements to look authentic. It is best not to add too many colors because they can make your bills appear as junk mail.
  • Focus on your margins, spaces, layouts, and alignment. These minor details can make a broad difference in your statements, helping people read the information without stressing their eyes.
  • Use a firm yet polite tone to maintain hospital-patient relationships and your brand reputation.

Statements

Source: https://opendental.blog/breaking-down-patient-statements/

3. Improve Your Revenue Cycle Management

Your patient billing statement campaigns' success depends on your overall revenue cycle strategies. Try aligning your drafting, printing, and shipping activities for all medical documents, including

  • Mental and physical health records
  • Invoices
  • Discharge summaries
  • Post-discharge instructions
  • Transfer details
  • Consent forms
  • Diagnostic test reports

The hospital's finance department must design tailored and well-thought mailing programs for these documents. It allows your organization to send effective medical statements and get the desired results. Help your patients pay faster by providing them with the necessary details whenever required.

Also, shipping every item on time lets you stay top of mind and motivates patients to continue visiting you.

We understand it is hectic to draft and send numerous medical documents to every patient. PostGrid's print and mail API integrations help you launch shipping campaigns for patient statements and other items from your existing system. Hence, you can finish the job without uploading or transferring data and wasting time.

4. Clarify the Insurance Details

When your patient statements are generated, ensure they consist of the person's insurance information.

Mention their primary and secondary insurance details. And add the pending amount from the insurance agency. It allows patients to stay updated regarding their bills and payments and reduce confusion.

This information must be at the top of your medical statements to make it visible to readers. As discussed earlier, avoid jargon and only add the relevant details about their healthcare insurance plans.

5. Highlight the Total Amount Due

It can be challenging for patients to understand what they owe your organization. Often, a patient billing statement has several figures and facts. Differentiating between them and finding the amount payable can be a task.

Nearly four out of ten patients find cost transparency more crucial than their relationship with the provider.

Enhance patient correspondence by sending precise and to-the-point patient statements to update them!

Use simple layouts for your patient statement and mark the amount due in bold formatting. Make different sections for every element to make the pending payment stand out.

6. Provide Your Contact Details

Interacting with patients through a single communication channel is impossible.

A study shows dental offices require 12 touchpoints to acquire and retain patients.

Another research shows that 65% of patients prefer speaking to their healthcare providers over the phone.

They still value human-to-human interactions in this digital era and expect the hospital or clinic to provide their contact information. Hence, include your website link, phone number, fax number, and email address in all medical statements to help patients reach you.

Adding multiple communication modes to your patient statements indicates your availability to respond to patient queries!

7. Pair Your Medical Statements With Past Due Letters

Statements only summarize the patient’s transactions with the corresponding amounts. You may pair them with bill overdue letters to offer more details and add a message. 

These letters can help you highlight the number of days since the bill became payable. They also allow you to mention your upcoming steps, like passing the medical statements to a collections agency or initiating legal action.

PostGrid’s automated print and mail solutions enable you to add marketing and other inserts to your envelopes. You can save costs and improve patient statement collections using this method.

Letters help you add personalized messages and correspond with patients 1:1. They also let you form emotional bonds and push them to pay! Thus, sending them with your statements is an excellent collection strategy. 

8. Add QR Codes and PURLs

You may add QR codes and PURLs to your patient billing statement mailers. These elements help you accomplish several goals, like

There are endless QR code applications you can use because they help you redirect patients to any web page you want! Adding them to your patient statements makes them more engaging and responsive, allowing you to receive payments faster.

QR Code Payment

Source: https://home.paynearme.com/bill-pay/features/qr-code-payments/ 

9. Offer Hassle-Free Payment Options

It is advisable to provide multiple offline and online payment choices to patients to speed up collections. 

You may list the options in the patient statement or add them on a web page with a corresponding QR code.

simple billing statement

Source: https://premiermed.com/billing/sample-billing-statement/ 

Please remember to secure your website with SSL encryption and other methods to make patients confident to pay on your website. 

Also, add a custom phone number to your patient billing statement to resolve payment-related queries.

10. Pass Statements to Third-Party Collections

Develop a timeline to send patient statements to your healthcare consumers. For example, you can send these mailpieces monthly with past due notices once every 40 days. 

This practice lets you accelerate payments with regular patient correspondence. If a patient does not pay, they know they might receive a notice from your organization within a few days. This mindset helps you increase payment ratios!

Passing the patient statement to a collection agency should be your final resort. Try taking this step only after all attempts fail—and patients start dodging your messages.

11. Automate Your Healthcare Management Tasks

You can automate 40% to 50% of your organization’s activities. Most hospitals and medical centers already use automation solutions to complete tasks and send patient statements with minimal effort.  

Use hospital management software to eliminate manual work and replace it with automation. The purpose of this step is to help you complete several activities, including

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Patient statement in medical billing
  • E-prescriptions
  • Diagnosis
  • Medical history access
  • Patient data entry and management 
  • Data security

You may integrate PostGrid’s print and mail API into your CRM to automate patient statement shipping. Our seamless integrations allow hospitals, dental clinics, and other healthcare organizations to send accurate documents and invoices without manual effort.

12. Add Marketing Messages

There are no restrictions to adding promotional messages to your patient statements, bills, and other transactional mail. PostGrid’s trans promotional mailing feature helps you include marketing offers to any mailpieces you want or add advertising inserts. It lets you fulfill the twin objectives of communicating financial information and promoting your services.

Most people store medical statements, invoices, and other mailers for months or years. Printing your logo, company name, and contact information helps brand your items. It also allows patients to remember your brand for the long term.

How Do PostGrid’s Print and Mail Solutions Help Healthcare Organizations With Patient Billing Statement Mailing?

PostGrid helps all medical organizations align their shipping processes. It enables them to cut costs and increase efficiency. 

You may integrate our print and mail API into your hospital management CRM to send patient statements instantly. Our zero-code integrations help you set up your mailing account within minutes, fetch the relevant data, and draft responsive items.

During our latest coffee meets, one of our clients commented on our patient statement printing and mailing tasks.

“PostGrid is an all-inclusive automated direct mail solution to help healthcare firms improve revenue levels and function faster. We are thrilled with the results we received in the past year and look forward to every campaign. PostGrid’s real-time reporting, templates, analytics, and other features help us send thousands of statements and reports monthly at low rates.”

This healthcare client has been with us for the past three years. They access our print and mail dashboard to ship several items weekly and monthly!

Here are the features PostGrid offers clients to make drafting, printing, and distributing medical statements a breeze.

  • Address verification: HIPAA violations can cost your firm up to $1,000 and $50,000 for repeat breaches. Mailing your patient statements to incorrect addresses is a severe violation, making it critical to use address verification. PostGrid lets you quickly standardize and validate your patients’ delivery addresses before shipping your items.
  • Customization: Our print and mail services help you customize your items with different elements. You can add all required variables and send personalized patient statement mailers.
  • Data privacy: PostGrid complies with HIPAA, PIPEDA, and SOC-2. You can draft your mailpieces on our platform with the risk of a data breach. 
  • Postage discounts: Get lower postal cut-offs from USPS by adding Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMBs) and presorting your items. PostGrid also uses CASS-verified addresses to help you pay less postage and complete deliveries faster. 
  • 2-business-day SLA: You may print and mail patient statements within two business days with PostGrid. Our solutions ensure no delays, glitches, or other issues, enabling you to ship items and get paid on time. 
  • Zero investment in perishables: Automating your patient statement mailing tasks helps you avoid investing in printers, printing paper, labels, ink cartridges, etc. 
  • Tracking and reporting: You can track your sent medical statements via PostGrid’s dashboard to check the delivery status. It allows you to view campaign insights and reports to prepare for your upcoming shipping orders.  

Conclusion

Healthcare statements help organizations update their patients and recover payments. They are crucial financial instruments that facilitate patient billing and keep their revenue flowing. 

Use medical statements to discuss the patient’s treatment plan and add the corresponding charges. Clearly distinguish between different costs and provide a summary. 

We hope the tips in this blog help you draft an appealing and result-driving patient billing statement for all patients. 

If you want to add value to your patient communications and eliminate unnecessary expenses, use PostGrid! Its print and mail services allow you to complete all patient statement mailing-related tasks under one roof at competitive prices. 

Sign up to learn more about patient statements and how PostGrid helps you draft, print, and ship them simultaneously!

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