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Dental and vision businesses have a unique opportunity at the end of year, each year. Patients may end up with unused healthcare dollars in their accounts. Some of these dollars are Flex account ones and some are not. We recommend starting end of year “use it or lose it” campaigns at the beginning of the 4th quarter each year.
First, Understand the differences between Flex spending accounts (FSA) and healthcare savings accounts (HSA) first. FSAs are pre-tax dollars and are set up by Employer to cover costs not covered by medical/dental plans. Your patient, the employee puts money into it from each paycheck. This money does not accrue any interest and the maximum amount is set by the IRS. THIS IS YOUR TRUE “USE IT OR LOSE IT” ACCOUNT TO TARGET.
HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT/HSA are also pre-tax dollars. However, these can be set up by ANYONE. This can be set up by your patient for ANY medical/dental expenses. Even for this one, the IRS guidelines govern the maximum contribution. A key difference is that in this type of an account, money DOES accrue interest and it can be rolled over from year to year.
Your call center and front desk staff needs to know about this because more often than not, the patient is utterly confused about these differences and leans on your staff for help.
So, if this campaign is supposed to be run in Q4, why should you do anything now? A couple of reasons
- At the beginning of each year, your team should be running a demographics update campaign so the patient demographics are up to date in your system.
- At the beginning of each year, your team should be running an insurance update campaign so the patient insurances are up to date in your system.
- When you run an insurance update campaign, your staff should be clearly marking / tagging the FSA vs HSA accounts at that time. It’s a lot easier to be prepared with this data, than scrambling to gather this information in October.
Assuming you are ready to go with this information by Q4 of the year, here are the steps to follow.
- Prepare the list of patient accounts that have FSA.
- Segregate the phone numbers into mobile vs landline vs VOIP.
- Prepare 3-4 messaging templates that are personalized enough for patients. You will send this via email, SMS and voice.
- Prepare a few follow up messaging templates – patients get busy and forget about your reminder.
- If you prefer that patients be allowed to call your practice by pressing any number on their phone while the voice message is being played, configure Amazon Connect accordingly.
- Send an email blast with your patient personalized template.
- Send a text message blast with your patient personalized template – to patient phone numbers that you have segregated as mobile numbers.
- Send a voicemail blast with your patient personalized template – to patient phone numbers that you have segregated as landline numbers. IMPORTANT – you can use this same technique to send a voice blast to mobile numbers as well.
- VOIP numbers typically do NOT have voicemail set up. Your Amazon Connect script needs to be able to hang up the call after a pre determined time. Make sure that it times out after 45 seconds or so. VOIP phones sometimes have SMS enabled, so you can try sending them a text blast instead.