In an article in this weeks's HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association) newsletter, Ray Peloquin, a consultant for a Springfield, MO cardiology practice, discusses a new way to reach patients with outstanding balances.
Peloquin is using text messaging as a way to communicate with patients. Text messaging patients with "We have an issue to speak with you about", has encouraged many patients with an unpaid balance to call the practice.
This practice is not the only medical office trying this new method of collecting on patient accounts. Other providers have found text messaging useful for helping to "increase collections, improve patient compliance with physician orders, and reduce the appointment no-show rate" (HFMA, 2011).
Of course, when deciding to use text messaging as a means of communicating information with patients, a medical office must be sure to follow all privacy, trade and communication laws
Text Messages Emerging as Patient-Friendly Communications Tool. Patient Friendly Billing E-Bulletin. Accessed July 20, 2011. http://www.hfma.org/Publications/E-Bulletins/Patient-Friendly-Billing/Archives/2011/July/Text-Messages-Emerging-as-Patient-Friendly-Communications-Tool/