Top 5 Reasons Extended Business Offices Fail to Collect Past Due Payments

Top 5 Reasons Extended Business Offices Fail to Collect Past Due Payments

Working with a client as an extension of their business can be challenging. If you currently run (or are considering running) an extended business office, you may already know the challenges involved.

However, between compliance, staff training and other back-office concerns, it can be hard to manage the roadblocks your agents experience during payment collection.

If your business is interested in an accounts receivable EBO, here are some basics and five common reasons that cause past due payment collections to fail.

What is an Extended Business Office?

If you are not yet operating as an extended business office, you should understand what the operation entails, how it’s helpful to clients and what types of payment collection EBOs are responsible for.

Extended Business Office Definition

The concept of an extended business office is when accounts receivable professionals work on a company’s behalf. The EBO will help manage the revenue cycle, handling items like AR billing and payment collection to reduce the company’s number of past due payments.

Extended business office services are most commonly used among healthcare practices.

How EBOs help healthcare organizations collect past due payments

EBOs are especially useful for healthcare organizations because insurance and other revenue cycle concerns can be a strain on their administrative staff. Stepping in on behalf of their practice is extremely valuable. EBOs streamline processes, increase cash flow and improve the patient financial experience.

A few of the tasks EBOs commonly help with are:

  • Billing
  • Accounts receivable management
  • Creating patient statements
  • Financial aid and benefit counseling
  • Pre-collection

There are many more services you may decide to offer in your medical extended business office or other EBO operation.

Top 5 Reasons Extended Business Offices Fail to Collect Past Due Payments

Five Reasons Your EBO May Fail to Collect Past Due Payments

Collecting past due payments is a large part of working with clients as an EBO. If you are operating this way now, or want to expand your ARM operation to first party, you must understand the most common roadblocks.

1. No payment information

One of the most common reasons an agent may fail to collect a payment is lack of payment information available. If a consumer is on their mobile phone, they could be speaking to you from anywhere. They may not have access to a card number or other form of payment, causing your agents to fail in resolving the account.

2. Consumer doesn't have time to pay

Another risk in EBO collection is not having time to pay. Again, speaking to a consumer on their mobile phone can cause difficulties. If a consumer is driving, talking to you from their workplace, or otherwise busy, they are likely to say they don’t have time to complete a payment. If your agency doesn’t have a backup plan, you’re relying on consumers to call back or pay on their own (something they usually won’t do).

3. Consumer is hesitant to pay on the phone

With the number of scammers attempting to defraud consumers, building trust is becoming a difficult – yet essential – task. Payment security has become such a concern that many will not share sensitive payment data over the phone. If you don’t have an option for consumers to pay without reading card numbers out loud, many of them will simply refuse to pay.

4. Consumer is questioning their bill

No matter what type of accounts receivable collection you handle, there will always be consumers with questions about their bill. Make sure to train your agents and build this scenario into call scripts so your staff is ready to respond when the situation arises.

5. Self pay options cause friction

These days, most consumers prefer electronic options for paying bills. This is good when you want your agents spending more time with consumers with complex problems, sending others to an online payment portal.

However, this is another area for payments to fall through. Unnecessary logins or other hurdles will cause many consumers to abandon their payments. Reducing friction enhances the customer experience and increases self-serve payment resolution.

Give your Extended Business Office a competitive advantage. Make it easy for consumers to self-pay.
PDCflow can help. Our platform lets you reach patients and collect secure payments through the digital channels they prefer – email, SMS, and online.
👉  Learn More

How Extended Business Offices can Improve Payment Completion Rates

PDCflow’s Flow Technology can improve payment completion rates for the five payment struggles above and more.


One of the simplest ways to improve payment completion rates in your extended business office is through digital channels. Digital payments and communications options enhance the process for both your staff and consumers.

1. No payment information? Consumers don't have time to pay?

Send a payment link for later.

When your customers don’t have payment details ready when you call, you risk never getting that payment.

PDCflow’s Flow Technology lets agents send a customized payment request to a consumer’s email or mobile phone. That way, they can access a payment link at any time and pay once it’s convenient.

2. Consumers hesitant to read card numbers out on the phone?

Let them enter details themselves.

Customers who are nervous about their card details being mishandled won’t always agree to pay an agent.

Using Flow Technology, you can send a payment link to consumers while you’re still on the phone.

Your agent can verify the payment went through and your consumers can feel safer knowing their payments are secure.

3. Consumers are questioning a bill?

Send them a digital statement to review while you talk.

Sometimes a consumer won’t want to pay before they get clarification about their bill. In these cases, you can send a statement to your consumer using Flow.

They can open their email or a text message while still on the phone with an agent and review the bill in question, then pay once all their concerns have been addressed.

4. Self-pay options causing friction?

Use PDCflow’s Flow requests and online payments.

Some self-pay options require unnecessary logins or other hurdles that make it a hassle to pay a bill. PDCflow payments come with an easy-to-use payment portal, and the ability to add QR code links to every statement, for fast access to a payment page.

Or, you can use Flow requests to send an email or text message to customers, along with their bill or any documents they must sign.

Cameron Karem, Assistentcy LLC
Assistentcy LLC
Cameron Karim, President & Director of Operations
“Flow has made it more convenient for consumers to pay the bill because they have the link right there. There was no need to go to the website. There was no account number, no PIN number. They used one of the identification forms offered within the Flow product. They type that in, make the payment, and they get a receipt."

How One EBO Doubled Card Payments with Flow Technology

PDCflow client and extended business office Assistentcy LLC was experiencing all of the payment issues common to EBOs. People couldn’t or didn’t want to pay, or they put off resolving bills because the process would take too long.

After implementing Flow Technology, Assistentcy saw card payments double and reduced the number of inbound calls regarding billing and payments.

Extended business offices can ease the administrative burden for providers who do not have the resources or the time to train their own staff. But healthcare organizations today are concerned with patient satisfaction across the entire healthcare journey – including the financial experience.

Talk with a PDCflow digital communication and payment expert. Find out if using email and SMS Flows is right for your office.

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See how our Flow Technology can reduce risk for your agency and speed up your digital payment collections with secure email and text. Book a demo today.
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Hannah Huerta - PDCflow Marketing Specialist
Hannah Huerta, Marketing Specialist

Hannah Huerta is a Marketing Specialist at PDCflow. She creates content for the accounts receivable and payment industry.

LinkedIn - Hannah Huerta

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