Today, most insurance plans sold in the U.S. include copy and high deductibles. It means, the patient has to bear a significant portion of the expense that will incur on routine visits to a medical practice or for medical procedures.
Does this pose a problem for practices?
The answer is yes. If a medical practice doesn’t have a robust payment collection strategy, then it will start losing money because collecting from patients can be a challenging task.
With higher patient payment liabilities becoming a problem, here are top three tested ways in which your medical practice can boost its collections:
- The first and most important thing you need to do is to hire trained front-desk staff that can collect from patients and also verify their insurance coverage before giving an appointment. Only expert front-desk staff will know the best way of informing patients of the balance that they’re carrying and also inform them of available payment options. It is very important that the staff is courteous and respectful, irrespective of the number of times they need to contact the patients regarding an unpaid bill. So if needed, train your staff. They should be able to use the in-house billing software as well to know how much amount is due from patients.
- Make sure that your practice has transparent and easy-to-understand payment policies. As a provider you will start seeing revenue cycle slowdown by the time your patients will receive a medical bill in their mail. As per a study by McKinsey & Company, providers generally expect to collect 50-60% of a patient’s balance after the first visit. Some providers even wait for a month before getting paid from patients. So educating the patients is very important. They need to know about their financial responsibilities before receiving care from the provider.
- Last tip on the list is to offer diverse payment options to your patients. This will help in improving your collection rate tremendously. Make sure your patients can pay by cash or through their credit or debit cards. They should also be given the convenience of paying through their Smartphone apps or your website. Also, it helps to setup payment plans for your patients especially for the ones who want to pay their bills in installment. Have selection criteria for offering this service to your patients.