With the start of the new year, many also start to think about the upcoming tax season and when they can get their IRS income tax refund. Tis the season for taxes as people say.

During the 2019 filing season, about 72% of consumers who filed a tax return received an average refund of $2,781 according to IRS statistics. That’s already a good amount people can use to pay down their debts.

According to the National Retail Federation, 35% of consumers who are expecting a tax refund said they would use it to pay down debt.

As such, Mnet is helping patients get off on the right financial foot for 2020 by helping them to pay down their debt. Here are some strategies Mnet uses to maximize collections during tax refund season:

Early and strategic patient financial communications

Before refunds even hit consumers’ pockets, we deliver patient financial communication in the most consumer-friendly manner. In 2019, nearly 50% of taxpayers filed on or before March 15 — well before the April 15 deadline. In addition, approximately 50% of all refunds were issued on or before March 15 according to IRS data. Hence the early months of the first quarter of the year are critical to engaging with past-due customers.

As patients get their tax return refunds, they review their current financial situation. In many cases, past-due medical bills are not at the top of their list because other debtors charge higher interest rates or offer settlements for payments in full. But well-timed touchpoints and personalized messages could influence who consumers would pay back first.

The first thing that Mnet does is to ensure it has updated contact information to ensure each patient’s communication counts whether by direct mail or online campaigns. Skipping this step wastes tons of money and time.

Mnet uses consumer-friendly patient engagement strategies to stay on the mind of patients and to give them a compelling reason to pay their medical bills (e.g. discounts for payments in full).

Targeted outreach and assessing propensity to pay 

Knowing which patients may receive a refund and who will likely pay their medical debt is critical. Targeting the wrong people can end up wasting a lot of money (e.g. costs of direct mail, advertising, etc.). Patients may have that extra cash, but that doesn’t mean they’re all going to pay their medical debts.

Some people are more likely to pay their medical debts with their refunds than others, so Mnet focuses its outreach to this group first by leveraging multiple data sources.

Propensity to Pay Data

Mnet uses daily payment updates and adjustments on self-pay accounts to enrich data on a patients’ propensity-to-pay aside from leveraging credit and non-credit public records data.

By using propensity to pay data, the time and effort spent unproductively on tracking collections from patients who are unlikely to pay will be significantly eliminated. This technology relies on data from multiple sources to accurately predict patients’ likelihood of default.

Mnet channels more resources to patients with a higher probability of repaying their debts.

Payment Behavior Data

Mnet also leverages data on payment behavior whether a consumer has made a large payment to a tradeline balance (or balances) during tax season. While credit behavior patterns and payment behavior data can predict how consumers are faring on their credit score, it can also be used to predict who may get a tax refund and who is likely to use a refund to pay down delinquent balances.

By anticipating who is likely to receive a refund and use it to pay down debt, Mnet can tailor its messaging, call outreach, and mailings to the right consumers.

By assessing patients’ unique financial situation, Mnet can help optimize collection yield as it will be able to:

  • Focus on accounts with medium to high probability to pay
  • Determine patient ability and willingness to pay
  • Classify patient accounts into the optimal payment workflow

Simplified payment process with financial technology

Mnet has over 15 years of experience in optimizing patient collections through innovative financing solutions that leverage technology to simplify the payment process for patients and providers.

Patients are always looking for flexible and hassle-free means of payment. Mnet lets patients have easy access to an interactive online account that provides actionable data on their financial obligations and makes it easy for them to make payments. Actionable data, such as what is covered by their insurance plans, payments due, and the option of a flexible payment plan are made available to patients.