5 Tips to Increase Patient Pay Awareness on DME Costs

When patients are ready to order their durable medical equipment (DME), many of them might not be aware of their actual cost for the item. Patients with Medicare insurance often believe that Medicare will cover 100% of the price, and that’s not accurate. Training your staff on how to educate patients on their cost before ordering DME can save them time on dealing with angry patients. 

5 Tips to Increase Patient Pay Awareness 

Since most DME products are high-priced, educating patients can make a big difference and significantly improve customer service. If left uninformed, many patients will call you upset after they learn about their costs.

Here are five things you should explain to the patient when they place a DME order.  

  1. Before placing the order, inform the patient on what the insurance covers, including:
    1. Medicare-approved amount 
    2. Deductible 
    3. Supplemental policy 
    4. Their total cost estimates 
  2. Inform patients that many of the same cost rules will apply for replacing or repairing their DME item.
  3. Take the time to describe their bill and insurance coverage to them fully. 
  4. If they need customized equipment, explain the cost and why it’s higher than standard equipment. 
    1. For example, a motorized power wheelchair with a customized seat will cost more than a manual wheelchair, but it will provide more benefits to the patient. 
  5. If a patient recently changed insurance or is now part of the Medicare Advantage Plan, make sure they know their cost for items may have changed. 

Patient Communication Tips

Training your staff on proper communication techniques offers:

  • Improved customer service
  • Increase timely payments
  • Receive higher positive feedback and reviews 
  • Result in repeat orders 

Here are a few Dos and Don’ts on clear communication. 

  • Don’t make assumptions that patients know or understand what you said 
  • Do encourage them to ask questions for clarity 
  • Don’t ask multiple questions before the patient has time to respond
  • Do ask one question and allow the patient to answer before asking a second question 
  • Don’t ignore the patient’s concerns or worries
  • Do acknowledge their concerns re-explain the information if needed

If you want more helpful information on the best way to care for and educate patients, read our article on Communicating Patient Pay Details with Older Generations

The Medbill Advantage 

If your staff needs additional help or resources on working with patients, the Medbill patient pay team can provide you with communication strategies and work alongside your team to strengthen your customer service. Contact our team to learn more about our DME patient pay services.