A Case (Study) for Making a Statement

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The hospital was in the healthcare market, not the statement printing market.  They tried to do it all internally and the results showed.  They decided to use an outside service bureau to print what they sent each month, but what they received was not just printed material – it was advice, creative thinking, enough cost saving ideas to more than pay for the transition to an outside source.

PROBLEM:

Since their expertise was in healthcare they did not know enough about statement printing and information distribution to lower internal costs and increase efficiencies.

Each statement, whether the receiver owed or not, was sent with a return envelope because they did not know how to create an internal system to separate those who owed from those who did not.

The statements were very difficult to read, and because they were not “user-friendly” the end result was a high accounts receivable balance.

They could output their billing statements, as only one difficult to read and understand form sent as first-class mail with no postal discounts.

SOLUTION:

The solution involved both a total redesign of their existing statement and the elimination of the hospital as the source of statement printing and mailing.

1. More spacing was added between elements and the fonts were all change to Times to make it easier to read. 

2.  A second statement form was created and, based on the age of the receiver, used a larger 13 point type to make it easier to read.

3. Those who owed were separated from those who did not, and those who owed nothing were sent a statement without the return envelope included.

4. All statements were printed in best postal order for maximum postal savings.

5. The bottom return portion was perforated to make paying easier.

6. The redesign also included grey background color bars behind every other article in the statement so it did not all “blur” together.

7. The hospital included a link to their website for information, questions and to pay online.

RESULTS:

1. The statements are easier to read and understand, resulting in a higher, faster rate of bill collection.

2. The hospital has eliminated all internal statement printing and they are actually saving money using an outside source because of the cost savings involved with postage, labor, time, equipment and equipment maintenance.

3.  Postal savings alone added up to between $60 – $100 per thousand pieces.

4. The project was so successful that the hospital is now on “manual mode” – without thinking, each week 4,000 to 10,000 records are sent to the service bureau, sorted, printed and mailed within three days of receipt.  The entire database is sent via secure email.

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