Let's Face It: Patient Collection is Mission Critical
No one will disagree that the largest and most difficult payor from whom to collect in a medical provider office is the patient. But let's face it: practices can no longer survive by focusing primarily on insurance collections. The rising cost of insurance is forcing businesses and individuals alike to choose higher deductible and co-pay insurance plans in order to afford the monthly premiums.
Timing is key when collecting patient balances. Did you know that the moment a patient leaves a provider clinic without paying the amount owed, the chances of that provider collecting from the patient plummet? McKinsey & Company conducted research which showed a patient is:
90% likely to pay BEFORE they see the provider when required
70% likely to pay at checkout
40% likely to pay AFTER THEY LEAVE the medical practice
Wow! That should be a wakeup call for providers who desire to remain independent! The following should be practiced in every provider clinic:
Collect co-pays, deductible amounts for planned procedures and previous balances PRIOR TO PROVIDING service to patients. Using MediSoft, this process is simple using the F11 function.
Offer credit/debit card payment options. Using BillFlash ePAY and OfficePay, payment options are more efficient than ever. Act now and get 60 days free BillFlash!
Gather updated demographic information including current insurance and contact information at each and EVERY visit. Information changes too often to not keep asking!
VERIFY insurance prior to service! It's not enough that the patient has an insurance card- verfiy that insurance is still effective. Ask exchange insurance patients for proof of premium payment. If they cannot prove payment then take a deposit on services.
Give prompt pay discounts. Collecting most of the amount owed is better than receiving no payment at all.
Create a financial policy which includes guidelines for payment plans and financing options. Create a separate bill code to track payment plans.
Send easy to understand statements and collection letters. BillFlash Statement service includes professional and customizable statements that include a return envelope. This allows the practice Biller to spend more time on insurance follow-up instead of printing and stuffing statements.
Call patients with delinquent accounts. Treat the patient with respect and ask them to pay their balance. Offer a payment plan.
If patients do not respond to requests for payment then be willing to send the account to a reputable collection agency.
If the patient is a frequent abuser, the provider may need to consider refusing treatment (check insurance contracts first and Medicaid/Medicare provider requirements).
"What you collect from insurance companies covers your overhead. What you collect from patients goes to your bottom line." -- Medical Economics