Working with a client as an extension of their business can be challenging. If you currently run or are considering an extended business office in your accounts receivable operation, you may already know the challenges involved.
However, between compliance, staff training and other back end concerns, it can be hard to watch for all the roadblocks your agents experience during payment collection. If your business is interested in pursuing this type of accounts receivable management, here are some EBO basics and five common reasons that cause past due payment collections to fail.
What is an Extended Business Office?
Extended Business Office Definition
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 to streamline their processes, increase cash flow and improve the patient financial experience is extremely valuable.
A few of the tasks EBOs commonly help with are:
- Accounts receivable management
- Creating patient statements
- Financial aid and benefit counseling
There are many more services you may decide to offer in your medical extended business office or other EBO operation.
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 are considering expanding your ARM operation to include this type of collection, 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.
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 to use payment communication tools to enhance the payment process for both your staff and consumers.
- Convenient payment for consumers - If your consumers don’t have payment information or they’re busy when you call, send the payment to them. By sending consumers a text or email payment reminder, you no longer have to hope you’re calling when they have time to pay. They can open the link when it is convenient for them and pay in minutes.
- Better security - FLOW Technology offers PCI compliance (even for remote employees). FLOW allows consumers to make a payment while on the phone with an agent, without reciting credit card information out loud.
- Legitimizes the EBO - FLOW allows you to send a billing statement along with a payment request so consumers can validate their bill. Sending both at once speeds up the payment process and can capture payments that may get forgotten by the time a bill is sent through other methods.
- Builds trust and improves consumer experience - Instead of trusting consumers to visit a portal to self-pay, payment reminders with a payment link speeds up payment, makes it easier for consumers, building trust.
FLOW Technology’s Benefits for EBOs
Using a payment communication tool like FLOW can target the biggest collection hurdles EBOs face. By solving these five problem areas, your EBO will resolve more accounts, improve your brand reputation and boost office efficiency.
PDCflow client and extended business office Assistentcy LLC doubled card payments, reduced unnecessary consumer calls and built trust by implementing FLOW Technology.
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.
Download this guide on how your extended business office can better serve patients and provide a positive consumer experience while increasing the revenue you collect for your healthcare clients.