3 Reasons Physical Therapy Practices Need Online Bill Pay

One of the biggest challenges for physical therapy practices is billing and collections. Most offices have at least one staff member fully dedicated to managing the payment process. They coordinate invoices, work with insurance companies and work with patients to establish payment plans. However, the process is often very manual and has dozens of steps before even one patient is successfully paid in full. How can you take those steps and cut them in half—and get more patients paid up?

The answer is online bill pay. Online bill pay is an e-commerce feature that allows patients to securely log in and make payments through your website.

3 Benefits of Online Bill Pay for PTs

  1. Save time

Collecting payments from patients is never an easy task. You can to create the invoice, mail it and wait for the payment to be made. Most mailed items take 7 to 10 business days to reach their destinations. Therefore, it can take over a week just to get the bill to the patient. Then, you must wait for them to open the bill and either mail a check or call in to pay. You could spend up to three weeks waiting for the patient to remember to call—that’s over a month of waiting to get one bill paid.

Online bill pay saves time between sending out the bill and seeing the payment hit your account. Even if you continue to mail invoices, the patient can get the bill and pay online that same day. By using your website as the payment portal versus mailed checks or phone payments, you instantly save weeks’ worth of time in the billing process.

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  1. It’s fast, convenient and secure

How often do you call a patient to inquire about a past due payment? Only to find out that they mailed a check weeks ago. This puts your office and the patient into panic mode wondering where the check is and what to do next. Additionally, patients become concerned about security and might be hesitant to reissue payment. It is not an optimal experience for them or for your practice.

By paying online, patients can confirm that bills are paid right away. This gives them piece of mind and reduces stress for your billing department. Online payments are also more secure than phone calls or checks. Every transaction is encrypted and processed through a special data exchange to prevent hacking and fraud. Similarly, there is instant approval for credit card transactions to ensure the payment processes smoothly. Unlike checks that bounce or phone calls where the card doesn’t go through…leading to embarrassing communications with patients over payment.

  1. Streamline your practice operations

The process of billing and collections can be either a well-oiled machine or a jumble of rusty gears. And, it often varies day to day or patient by patient. For example, each month you need to secure payments from 100 patients. You create and mail 100 invoices. Then, you wait to see which ones come back to the office. You process those payments. But, there are typically 30+ invoices that go unpaid. Now, you need to start calling and tracking down payment on those invoices…a process that takes hours and is frustrating. By the end of the month, you are probably still waiting on payments from 20+ patients and it can take weeks to collect.

Let’s walk through the same month with online bill pay. You create and mail 100 invoices, but direct patients to go and pay online via your practice’s website. The convenience factor will typically lead more people to pay and to pay sooner. Online payments are processed automatically—saving you hours of transactional process. Most practices will see at least a 20% increase in on time payments with online bill pay. This month, only 15 invoices go unpaid, saving you half the collections process. In one month, you have cut practice operations and secured more revenue!

For more information about online bill pay and how you can save time and get more money for your physical therapy practice, sign up for our webinar or contact us today.

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