Patients have been faced with expensive medical bills due to the rise in high deductible plans, and in numerous cases, these patients are not prepared to pay their medical bills. For medical practices and clinics, this means that discovering new ways to improve medical billing collections should be a priority.
When patients do not pay the amount due for a procedure or service, it ultimately puts your practice’s revenue cycle at risk. Patient co-pays make up approximately 20% of the revenue for a medical professional. However, most doctors only collect 60% of their patients’ co-pays, according to a 2010 study conducted by the Medical Group Management Association.
Once doctors realize that their medical billing is insufficient, they begin to understand that they cannot afford additional revenue loss through ICD-10 coding errors and Meaningful Use requirements. This is especially true for practices with a small operating budget.
Unfortunately, the over-arching issue of patient payment is not likely to be resolved soon, so patients will either have larger co-pays for each office visit or they will be forced to spend more out of pocket due to their policy choice and accompanying higher deductibles. As a result, medical professionals need to assess their current procedures and determine the most effective way to collect patient co-pays.
Train Your Staff To Collect The Money
Collections begin with your office’s front desk; therefore, it is essential to have your staff trained to collect payment before the patient is seen by a medical professional. Ensure the payment policy is clearly stated using numerous signs placed around the waiting room. Likewise, when any staff member calls the patient to confirm the appointment, they should also mention the balance due. Furthermore, available payment options should be provided and discussed with patients. Your staff should clarify that patients are expected to pay the balance before their next appointment or when they arrive for their next appointment.
Be Transparent About the Prices
One of the foremost reasons service providers have difficulty handling medical bill collections is that patients are uninformed about the cost and have not budgeted for this expense. You must be transparent about the prices and the procedure costs so patients have the appropriate information to determine if they can afford the treatment. Furthermore, have staff request insurance information and check the patient’s plan covers that service before the appointment is confirmed.
Use Medical Billing Software
To avoid further collections issues, ensure your medical billing software can meet your needs. Medical billing software can help streamline your fund’s collecting process and track all past bills and payments.
Provide Payment Options
Undoubtedly, many patients would like to pay for their services outright; however, they do not have the financial means to do so. You can slowly pay the bills in installments when you offer various payment options to outstanding invoices patients. It is beneficial to give your patients options to alleviate their financial stress and help guarantee full repayment for your services.
Provide Easy Payment Methods
If you want patients to pay their bills in a timely manner, you must make the payment process easy. For example, if you let patients pay using a debit or credit card, the funding you receive is going to increase, as most people prefer paying using their cards, and this method is nearly immediate. However, customers who pay with a check may experience issues regarding timing, and keeping cash on hand can be risky. Similarly, accepting and processing payments like Health Flex Accounts or medical credit cards may make your practice more marketable to a broader patient base.
Providing easy payment methods ensures you receive payment and leaves few outstanding patient bills.
Incentives for the Billing Staff
Recognize that collecting past due payments is not a pleasant activity, and it can become frustrating and tiring for staff. Offering incentives and keeping your staff motivated to collect outstanding payments is vital to ensure they are satisfied and are willing to perform the task efficiently.
Track and Manage the Results
You cannot improve billing conditions if you do not track the results and react appropriately. It is important to make reviewing billing and collections a habit each month to see which methods, software, and processes are effective and which are not.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.