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READER TIPS

Creativity helps increase patient payments

If your practice is like most, it regularly struggles with patient payment issues.

Churchland Internal Medicine in Chesapeake, VA, has found a solution – actually several – to help resolve payment problems.

“In our office, when a patient is asked for a payment on a balance and does not pay, we set up a payment agreement,” says Linda Warren, office manager.

Then, the office takes it a couple of steps further. “The one thing which I feel works is giving the patient an office envelope to return the payment,” Warren says.

Mind you, it’s not a blank envelope. On the inside of the flap, Warren writes the balance due and the date. “This solves the problem with the patient saying they couldn’t remember how much they owed or when it was due,” she says.

If the patient agreement calls for paying monthly, Warren recommends providing multiple envelopes and writing due dates on the front of each envelope, where the stamp gets affixed, to remind the patient to send in payments each month.

This creative, do-it-yourself billing and payment reminder system may seem simple, but at Churchland Internal Medicine it gets patients to pay attention to their outstanding balances – and pay their bills.


Medical Office Manager wants to send you $100. Tell us how you solved a problem, implemented a successful program – or share any idea we can use in our Reader Tips column and we’ll send you $100. Contact barb@plainlanguagemedia.com

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