How Smarter Medical Collections Can Improve Your Practice’s FinancesOctober 25, 2016
According to the America’s Health Insurance Plans’ Census of Health Savings Account – High Deductible Health Plans, the number of individuals enrolled in a high deductible health plan reached 19.7 million in January of 2015. This number is a dramatic increase from the 17.4 million reported in 2014.
With payment responsibility heavily shifting toward the patient, physicians need to change their strategy for collecting payments.
Utilize Transparency and Patient Education
When speaking with patients, be transparent about your practice’s prices for appointments and procedures. Remind individuals with high deductible health plans that they will most likely be responsible for paying a portion of these costs out of pocket.
Verifying insurance eligibility and checking coverage before the patient’s appointment will allow your staff to inform patients of their estimated, expected dues. With an estimate in mind, patients are well aware of their financial responsibility and have the opportunity to budget and plan for payment. This eliminates the surprise that may come with receiving a medical bill.
Misunderstandings of payment policies, deductibles and copays can be avoided when the patient has a firm understanding of how the billing process works. By allocating time to patient education, administrative staff can make a big impact on payment collections.
Offer Payment Plans
Patients may be willing and motivated to pay. However, if bills are too high, they may not be able to pay the entire balance right away. By offering payment plans to patients who are receiving larger bills, your practice can guarantee a greater portion of the amount due. Additionally, patients will feel more confident in their ability to pay for the treatments they need.
Provide Simple Billing and Payment Options
Increase co-payment collections as well as collections from services previously rendered through the use of a kiosk. While using the kiosk for check-in or check-out services, patients will be prompted to participate in on-screen payment options. Kiosks can also be used to update patient contact information, which will be useful if the patient needs to be contacted regarding an overdue payment.
Additionally, offering online billing and payment options provides a convenient solution for patients. Many individuals are accustomed to using online payment services, and this is a solution that meets patients’ expectations for healthcare in the digital era.
Follow Up on Late Payments
It may take some perseverance in order to collect overdue payments. If possible, consider contacting patients with overdue balances once a week. Consistent and constant communication may convince patients that the time to settle their bill is now.
Consider a Medical Billing Service
If your staff is overwhelmed, partner with a medical billing service and shift collection responsibilities to medical billing professionals. As an extension of your practice, medical billing professionals bill patients and contact patients with overdue bills to request payment. Outsourcing medical billing will also allow you to reassign resources allocated to in-house billing elsewhere.
To learn more about how 5 Star Billing Services can help your practice collect payments and drive up revenue, contact us online or call us at 480-821-1371.