Patient Payment Excuses and How to Handle Them

Getting a patient to pay remaining balances upfront can be a challenge sometimes. Whether it’s a deductible, a copay, or an outstanding balance on treatments or services rendered, patients will use every excuse under the sun to avoid paying you. And this can leave a significant amount of cash on the table. This is why no one should ever leave your clinic without spending at least some money. In this article, we’ll be debunking some of the most common payment excuses private practice clinics hear from their patients, and providing you with a few ways to overcome them.

 

Their Insurance Covers Everything

 

It’s very rare for an insurance company to cover everything for a patient. In most cases, they’re still required to pay a deductible, or at the very least, a copay. So, when you present your patients with an invoice at the end of their visit and they begin to question whether or not they’ll need to pay it, try educating them about their insurance plan. It’s best to have this conversation very early on in their episode of care, like after verifying their coverage.

 

They Forgot Their Payment Method

 

This is one of the most common, yet most easily overcome, patient payment excuses. Perhaps they forgot their credit card at home. Well, they still probably have some cash on them. Or maybe they hadn’t had a chance to stop at the bank and withdraw some money—but they might still have their cheque book handy. The point we’re trying to make here is that there are many different payment methods available to your patients, and by accepting multiple payment methods, your patients will have less excuses for not paying what’s owed. This is particularly important for cash-based clinics.

 

They Can’t Afford to Pay

 

As you know, professional rehabilitation treatment can get very expensive, very quickly. And if a patient doesn’t have proper insurance coverage, this is even truer. But as a clinic, and the one doling out the invoices, you can work with your patients to create a payment plan that works for their budget. Perhaps you can write off a certain portion, or they can pay in instillments over the next few months—the choice is yours.