Return on Investment for Return Mail Management:

Invest Time, Resources to Conquer Returned Mail Issues to Gain Real ROI

So, where’s your stash...and how big is it?

You know what we’re talking about: that stash of returned mail that nobody on your staff has time to deal with. Is it taking up half of the conference room or maybe the entire square footage of an empty office? Would you describe the amount as ‘mountainous’ or ‘colossal’?

Don’t hang your head in shame thinking about how to answer those questions. You and your organization are not alone! Provider offices, health systems and businesses of all kinds share in the struggle of finding the correct addresses for mailing patient statements. It seems mailed statements are like boomerangs, coming right back to the places they started from and leaving teams like yours with the daunting task of rectifying the address errors in attempt to collect.

The reality is those stacks of mail aren’t just annoyances. They represent revenue that is going uncollected, affecting cash flow and the overall financial health of your organization. Rather than turn off the light and shut the door on your returned mail stash, it’s time to shed some light on ways to rein in the problem and start chipping away at the piles of returned statements burdening your business.

Here are some simple ways you can invest in return mail management.

Don’t trust; verify!
Yes, we know the saying actually is “trust but verify.” However, that approach won’t put a dent in that 116 cubic feet of return mail in the back office! You must ask patients for their mailing addresses and verify those addresses at every point of contact possible. During appointment scheduling, registration, discharge and at follow-up visits you should verify addresses whenever possible.

Fix the suffixes. Correct the directionals. Focus on the “four.”
Be sure that addresses include proper suffixes, such as Road, Lane or Street. Likewise, determine if the street address requires a directional notation, i.e. North, South, East or West. Never disregard apartment or unit numbers, and be sure of street names’ spelling. And what about those four extra digits on the zip code? Don’t ignore their value in ensuring your mail gets where it needs to go. All of these details can be the keys to avoiding your mail’s return trip, so don’t underestimate their importance.

Details to include for quality addresses:
• Pre-directional
• Primary address number
• Street name
• Street suffix
• Post-directional
• Secondary identifier
• Secondary number
• City
• State
• ZIP + 4® code

If unsure, don’t send.
It’s a safe bet that a fair percentage of your returned statements should have never been sent in the first place. If you can’t verify the accuracy or confirm essential details of addresses, it’s advisable to not mail out statements to those addresses at all. It costs time, money and labor to prepare, process, send and receive returned mail on top of the original mailing expenses.

If you need a little help with your undeliverable patient statements, consider using Emdeon Return Mail Manager at your facility. It expedites patient receivables cash flow by quickly identifying updated addresses and mailing corrected statements previously returned as undeliverable.

Using Emdeon Return Mail Manager, you can route undeliverable mail to Emdeon’s processing facility where returned statements are scanned and a subsequent, corrected statement is mailed if an updated address is identified. These automated tools are far more efficient and effective than a hands-on, piece-by-piece approach. And you can reclaim your conference room!

Feeling inspired to diminish that stash of returned mail? Discover more about Emdeon Return Mail Manager online or call us at 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666).

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