Are You Collecting Payment from Patients Upfront?

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Have you ever considering asking patients to pay for their chiropractic care before receiving treatment? Does this seem like a foreign concept to you? Well it shouldn’t. In fact, in a recent survey by McKinsey & Company, it was found that healthcare providers actually should be asking for payment upfront from their patients if they wish to maximize collections and minimize patient delinquencies. The study found that:

  • 90% of patients are likely to pay their portion of healthcare expenses (deductibles, self-pays etc.) if they are asked to pay before receiving treatment.
  • 70% of patients are likely to pay immediately after receiving treatment.
  • The likelihood of healthcare providers (like chiropractors) to obtain payment after the patient leaves the office is only 40%!

Source: McKinsey & Company 2013

Chiropractor examining a charming woman's backSo what should chiropractors take away from these statistics? Well for one thing, the study reveals that your patients are over twice as likely to pay for treatment before receiving care than they are after they leave your office. Read that again, your patients are over twice as likely to pay for treatment before receiving care than they are after they leave your office. But why do patients prefer paying for treatment upfront? We believe by taking care of the financial responsibly of their visit as soon as possible, patients are allowed to solely focus on their chiropractic care – as opposed to worrying about how much the treatment will cost or how they will pay for the services provided. We also believe that by knowing ahead of time the costs associated with their care, the patient will have a better understanding for the value of what is being performed and will place greater emphasis on getting the most out of his or her appointment.

And for those patients who are hesitant to pay for care before receiving treatment, give them another reason to do so! Incentivize upfront payments by discounting a small portion (3-5%) off their bill if they pay for care (in full!) ahead of time. Not only will having the payment process out of the way allow your patients to focus entirely on their treatment, but getting paid upfront will also allow you and your staff to avoid the collection process on the backend – when recovering patient debt is typically most difficult.

Chiro 1AAs we have said in our blog many times, the best way to improve your patient billing and collections process is to avoid the process altogether. So consider this front-end approach to the payment process and spend less time pursuing patient debt and more time doing what you do best – providing superior chiropractic care! We’re confident your patients will appreciate getting the payment process out of the way as early as possible, and so will your balance sheet!

YOUR TURN: Do you agree that collecting payment upfront can be a win-win for both you and your patients? What do you think are the biggest obstacles to implementing a payment system of this nature? We’d love to hear your thoughts!


No Legal Advice Intended:  This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I.C. System, Inc.  You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal issues.


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