Bellevue Healthcare automates overall collection process for huge rewards

How We Got Paid: Bellevue Healthcare


Our motto is “Stellar customer service with integrity and honesty.” But sacrificing getting paid on time in order to service our longtime customers was putting—and keeping—our business in the red.

What Didn’t Work

We tried to change our business model from “deliver then pay” to “pay before delivery” to try make our internal processes more efficient without having to add or lay off staff. Rentals are 50% of our business, so when patients fell behind every month, so did we. We decided that rather than laying off staff, we’d find other ways to cut corners so we could maintain our customer service standards. We originally had 3 employees to handle patient billing; 5,000 invoices per month took them one full week of work from printing to stuffing. We loved Brightree’s service, but they just didn’t have anything for patient billing, which left us stuck.

Making the Switch

In 2013, Brightree recommended we try their patient collections service. I was highly skeptical of their process. I didn’t want to send past due letters and we didn’t want to change how we did business, even though that way of business was putting us under. But those little changes were exactly what we needed. Those past due letters that we didn’t want to send? They netted us $300,000—and only cost us $5,000.

We also signed up for Brightree Patient Collections’ AutoPAY service 5 months ago, since so much of our business is rental-based. We now have 1,468 of our patients using it, which means we’re guaranteed timely payments by those patients each month. That’s 1,468 patients for which we can eliminate past due communication altogether, creating a huge savings for us. AutoPAY also posts directly into Brightree, making one big batch deposit that only takes us 30 minutes to reconcile and post. Now when we have a patient who needs a rental, we require they set up AutoPAY, unless they’re buying the equipment outright, to make sure we’re guaranteeing ourselves payment whenever we can.

We’ve also got over 1,000 patients signed up for eDelivery, meaning we’re not wasting money sending them paper invoices either. Our phone call volume has decreased significantly thanks to Brightree Patient Collections’ clear, simple invoices and 3rd party collections have become completely automated through the AR Dashboard. We’ve now been able to cut our private pay collections by 40% while only needing one person to manage the AR Dashboard.

Our cost for all of these services is 2% of our earnings; that’s next to nothing, but to our business the results have meant everything. We’re now collecting 75% of the AR we bill, and the more patients we sign up on AutoPAY for guaranteed payment, the higher that percentage will rise. You can believe the hype—the risk is worth the reward. Automating our overall patient collection service has proven to be the right choice for us.

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