Is A/R soaring and becoming unmanageable for your practice? If the answer is yes, then you need to stop making accounts receivable mistakes and start managing practice collections in a smart manner. According to a survey conducted by the MGMA (Medical Group Management Association), practices generate approximately 25% of their revenue from patient payments. So if your practice is failing to collect these payments on time, you might end up experiencing a significant loss of revenue.
When it comes to the collection of patient copays and deductibles, medical practices are always caught in the cross-hairs. Therefore, it becomes necessary to have an effective patient payment strategy in place so that the workflow of the practice is streamlined. Also, practices need to avoid the following patient collection mistakes:
• Is your staff collecting insufficient or inaccurate financial data from patients? This is the biggest mistake that can result in problem accounts and increase A/R. Make sure that your front-desk staff is well trained and not slipping in this regard. If needed, provide them with additional training and keep evaluating the workflow to determine how much workload is enough for each staff to manage.
• Your staff should be held accountable if patient information and insurance information isn’t being updated every at every visit. This is not just required for new patients but also for the existing ones. If the staff fails to probe and collect accurate data while scheduling appointments, then collections will get affected.
• Not offering sufficient payment options is another mistake that your practice should avoid. It is not recommended to restrict yourself to take cash. Nowadays, patients also prefer to pay through credit or debit cards, so keeping a card machine at the front desk can be helpful.
• Also, your practice needs to have a strong financial policy which needs to be communicated to the patients. This will help in avoiding payment confusions or discrepancies in the future. Just make sure that the policy is comprehensive and it addresses issues that are related to your patients and practice specialty.
• Make sure you are prepared by checking your EHR and creating a list of all patients that have huge payment backlog. You will need a good software for viewing and planning patient balance in real-time on the scheduling screen. Also, don’t make the mistake of not following-up with patients as this will increase the chances of non-payment.