How to Improve Patient Retention and Maintain a High Patient Volume with SuperBill
February 23, 2023
In our last post, we covered how to get more patients into your clinic using SuperBill. We discussed how SuperBill’s out-of-network benefits calculator streamlines the patient acquisition process to save you time and money. Then we ran the numbers on exactly how much money you might expect to earn from those new patients.
But that’s only one part of the answer for how to increase patient volume. Your patient volume also depends heavily on patient retention. In this post, we will address how to retain patients using SuperBill’s full suite of out-of-network reimbursement services. But we will not stop at the SuperBill-specific methods. We will also discuss various patient retention strategies, from money-saving tactics to creative ways to increase patient satisfaction.
Patient retention relies on patient satisfaction
For the most part, SuperBill’s value for patients boils down to the same equation as it does for providers. More time + more money = more satisfaction. The only difference is, for patients it can take a little longer to recognize the savings. Because the insurance claims process is painfully slow, it might take two or three months for a new patient to see their first insurance reimbursement check hit their bank account.
But when it does, they’ll be floored. Here’s why. Many patients receive no money at all for their out-of-network reimbursements, even though they're entitled to a reimbursement, because they’re either too busy to file, or they’re overwhelmed by the process. When you take into account the fact that many insurance companies reject their first out-of-network claim on sight, it is hard to blame the patient.
That means that the majority of patients who are new to SuperBill will be receiving their first ever out-of-network reimbursement. Even if the insurance payer fights tooth and nail and we have to refile six times to get your patient a minor reimbursement, a bit of money is still better than no money. Your patient will notice the difference.
How to get patients to stay while the check is in the mail
Here at SuperBill, we put a big emphasis on transparency. Because the insurance reimbursement process is so obtuse, communication is key. If you want to retain more patients, you have to let them know what’s going on with their reimbursement.
Now, how best to do this? Well, the first thing you can do is explain the out-of-network reimbursement process. The SuperBill Blog has a number of resources that can help you with this. Just print our Complete Guide to Out-of-Network Reimbursement and hand it to your patients. That would be a nice start.
Or, if you are meeting with a prospective patient for a first consultation, let them know what a superbill is and explain how superbills are reimbursed. When it comes to patient retention, an increase in transparency almost always translates to an increase in volume, not only because patients gain a better understanding of their costs and benefits, but also because it builds trust. Think about it in simple terms. When you see a new doctor, are you more likely to return if they have made little strides to explain your reimbursement options? No, you want a provider to go the extra mile taking care of you and your money. It’s a no-brainer!
Once you have explained the process, show your patients the money!
Another aspect of transparency that will help with patient retention is the financial one. In this case, we suggest being as specific as possible. Make sure your patients know the meaning of OON reimbursement terms like “coinsurance,” “deductible,” and “allowed amount.”
SuperBill’s health benefits glossary has definitions for all of these terms and more, and it might be a nice resource to print for your patients or link to from your website. We also have an entire post explaining how allowed amounts affect reimbursements, since we have noticed allowed amounts tend to be one of the most confusing reimbursement topics for patients.
Once you are confident your patient has the vocabulary to understand out-of-network reimbursements, walk them through the numbers. Go over their OON benefits, showing them how much they need to spend to meet their deductible, as well as what percentage of their costs their insurer will cover through coinsurance. Patients who understand they will only really have to pay around 30% of their out of pocket costs are much more likely to return for another visit. Meaning you retain more patients.
If all of this educational labor sounds too time-consuming, remember that SuperBill can handle all of it for you. SuperBill verifies your patients benefits and payment methods, then files, negotiates, and tracks their claims. We will explain the whole process and keep your patient updated on their reimbursement’s status in real time. And now, with SuperPay the entire service is FREE.
The money-saving patient retention strategy (in detail)
Now let’s run the numbers in detail with a hypothetical example. Feel free to talk your patients through this one, adjusting the numbers for your own rate.
Let’s suppose you’re a therapist who bills monthly. Your patient sees you weekly, so after the first month you give them a superbill for therapy services rendered in the amount of $800. With SuperBill, either you or your patient can upload the bill, and it’s automatically filed for reimbursement.
SuperBill's team of insurance experts review claims before they are submitted to identify any errors and improve the chances of approval. And if any part of the claim is denied, SuperBill reviews it and refiles the claim. Rinse and repeat until the patient receives the best reimbursement possible.
Now let’s assume for the math’s sake that this patient has already met their deductible for their insurance plan. This patient’s plan covers 70% of out-of-network costs for therapy after they meet their deductible, so after paying their bill they’ll receive a check for $560. A lot better than nothing!
If this example seems outlandish, consider how rarely patients realize when they’ve met their deductible. Billions of dollars are left on the table for insurers to collect each year because regular people don’t have the time or energy to check the amount they’ve spent on healthcare.
When your patient sees that your therapy services only cost them $240 a month instead of $800, they’re much more likely to stay on for more sessions. All you have to do is keep providing quality healthcare like you do, and you’ll see an increase in patient volume in no time!
Other patient retention strategies: creative ways to increase patient satisfaction
Going beyond the financial and convenience aspects of patient retention, here are three creative ways to increase patient satisfaction.
- Provide a feedback system.
Leaving room for and listening to patient feedback will improve your practice and your patients’ perception of it. Consider sending patients a survey, asking them in person how the visit went, or calling them after an appointment.
- Develop your brand identity.
Putting some extra love into your brand image can go a long way. Think about your logo, the colors, and the website’s layout, and ask yourself whether they communicate the message you want your brand to say. These things affect patients in a big way, especially prospective patients, even if they are not conscious of it.
- Simplify your payment system.
Payment difficulties are one of the most common (and most frustrating) ways to lose patients. Updating your payment system to make it as easy to use as possible will almost certainly help you retain more patients. For a simple, user-friendly, and completely hands-off patient payment solution, try SuperPay.
But it’s more than just time and money
But the even bigger thing many patients using SuperBill report saving: stress. It’s the weight off their shoulders, the freedom to focus on genuine interests, and the feeling that someone is fighting for them against an unfair system that keeps patients around.
Patients often tell us they dread calling insurance companies—the anxiety can loom overhead, costing them far more time and anguish off the phone than on it. Add this to the fact that therapy patients, the most common recipients of superbills, may already have a lot on their plates when it comes to mental health, and you get a headache that only compounds as it progresses.
Your Sidekick Is Here
Seeing patients miss out on their OON reimbursements is tough to bear. But we’re here to help. Don’t lose valued patients to the frustrations of out-of-network reimbursement. Let SuperBill fight for your patients.
If you'd like to learn more about how to join, please read our FAQs section. We also have other posts with useful guides for providers, like How to Explain Superbills and OON Reimbursement to Your Patients and CPT and ICD-10 Coding Tips.