The Real Cost of Collecting Patient Payments

Collecting patient payments has been a major pain point for healthcare practices for years. Unfortunately, this trend has become common practice in the industry. Most practices assume they aren’t going to collect all outstanding patient debt, but do you know how much it’s actually costing you? Here’s a hint: it’s more than the amount on the bill you’re sending out.



Average practices spend a total of $2.41 on materials and admin costs associated with sending paper statements.


Practices with patients at 60-90 DSO (days outstanding) are losing an average of $5,000 per month. 


  • Claim based DSO < 30 days
  • 1st statement sent day 31 to 60 (post-date of service)
  • 2nd statement sent day 61 to 90
  • 3rd and final statement sent day 91 to 120

Paper Statement Cost Savings

  • Average cost per paper statement = $0.72
  • Average number of statements sent = 3 (one per month for 90 days)
  • Time spent processing paper statement ($15 per hour, one minute per statement = $0.25)
  • Total cost = $2.41

AR carry costs and days sales outstanding (DSO)

  • Patient responsible balance DSO > 90 days
  • Electronic statement sent weekly, four statements delivered within a 30 day period
  • Paper statement sent monthly, three statement sent over a 90 day period
  • A/R carry costs per 30 day period (refer to table)
  • A/R, 60- 90 Days = $50,000
  • A/R Carry Cost = $5,000

Download the Real Cost of Collecting Patient Payments 1-pager here.