What are ‘Restorative Recoveries’, and why are they important to you? Restorative Recoveries are a revenue cycle advancement based on two simple principles, and they’re producing much fruit. Simply put, it’s treating hospitals with the transparency they wish to receive, and taking care of your patients like they’re your hospital’s most precious asset – all while recovering revenue patients owe your hospital.
Not always, but in most cases hospital medical collections are something of an enigma. Nobody in the hospital seems quite sure what’s really going on with their patient collection accounts, little if any fruit is ever yielded from this abyss of a process, and those who do know what’s really going on (the collection agency) seem hard pressed at times to give hospital administrators the details they may ask for.
‘Restorative Recoveries’ Simplifies Patient Collections
I’m not saying that every collection business functions this way – just that it seems to be the norm. And while not all hospital administrators want or have time to delve into the details of individual accounts, they do know that having such access provides a useful benefit. It’s a simple thing, called ‘transparency’.
Transparency eliminates a lot of problems. It also boosts performance. Administrators know that when things are done in seclusion, there’s a possibility steps may be skipped. Sometimes things are missed out of mere laziness. And, on rare occasion, ambiguity covers actions of self-interest. In most circumstances, it’s safe to say that when things are out in the open it helps assure proper attention is maintained, and tends to uphold and sometimes even raise standards of performance.
Transparency is One Key to Restorative Recoveries
Transparency is one key aspect standardized within Restorative Recoveries. Imagine a circumstance where you, as hospital CFO, have every detail of every action taken with every patient payer balance documented in a secure online portal for you or your staff to supervise at any time. How confident would you be that such a collection firm would consistently produce high levels of service? You’d probably feel pretty confident.
Now let’s look at the second characteristic of Restorative Recoveries – the aspect where your patients are treated as your most precious asset. What do patients want (as it relates to being in collections)? We’ve found that patients only want a few simple things. And when these qualities are present, it results in better revenue recovery and a more stable and harmonious relationship between a hospital and its patients. Basically, it simply comes down to treating people with respect, and considering what they want.
Another Key is Respecting Patients in Collections
Once properly motivated, patients would rather pay the people who healed them than ever pay a collection agency. There’s just something adversarial about paying a third-party that’s done nothing for you, and may have a bad attitude. One benevolent feature of Restorative Recoveries is that your patients are always instructed to pay your hospital directly. This flows with patients’ natural desire, once motivated to make payment, and it nearly always eliminates patient complaints in this area.
A second attribute patients are most grateful for is the mere ability to make payments, even at this late stage in the revenue cycle. It amazes me that anyone would ever deny a patient’s right to make payment plans, especially when you consider that this expense was probably due to an emergency. How dare any agency be so draconian as to deny this fundamental compassion to your patients – yet it happens all the time. How unfair.
Restorative Recoveries not only facilitates payment plans, it allows hospitals to set the terms of any arrangements made with patients. Patients sometimes need to be motivated. And finding patients and motivating them is part of our job. But once patients have been located and properly motivated to pay your hospital, allowing those who need it the minor luxury of making payment plans only helps everyone involved.
All this is, is treating patients with respect. It’s that simple. No collection agency will ever treat your patients with more respect than your staff. And the Restorative Recoveries philosophy of having patients work with your staff to make arrangements and payments affords an environment of compassion and consideration only your hospital can provide.
The care you’ve taken in building patient relationships shouldn’t come to an end when billing begins. Practicing Restorative Recoveries ensures it will continue.