Billing technology: Select the right agent

Q. Will using virtual agents to call my patients really work?
Friday, June 20, 2014

A. Fast, easy and automatic has become the new standard in today’s society. Patients want things the simplest way they can get them, so what better way to implement this new standard of automation in your business than through self-service virtual agents?

If you can get your patients to pay their bills quickly and effortlessly, positive changes are immediately apparent. Periodically reminding your patients of their unpaid bill only fuels the fire that gets them to pay. If a virtual agent does nothing more than remind patients of their balance due, then it has done its job.

Virtual agents come at all levels of intelligence—which means some are smarter than others. If you’re using the right one, your patients will be able to set payment plans and/or pay in full when speaking with the virtual agent.

A virtual agent can not only take payments and set payment plans, but also, if there is any difficulty during the call or if the virtual agent senses the patient needs a live agent, then it can forward the call to your company’s employees. With ever-changing technology and an increasing vocabulary, the virtual agent can even recognize accents and less formal vocabulary. 

Using a virtual agent can generate more payments than sending out letters only. For example, if an invoice needs to go back to insurance, you will find out before it is past timely filing, because the patient is on the phone with you ready to resolve the issue. 

By using cutting-edge technology, the virtual agent is intelligent enough to take over what your employees spend hours trying to do.

Jennifer Leon is director of marketing and customer service for Strategic AR. Reach her at 913-744-3360 or