According to a survey conducted by the MGMA (Medical Group Management Association), approximately 25% of a practice’s revenue comes from patient payments. So if your staff is finding it difficult to handle patient collections, you will end up losing a lot of money.
In order to start bolstering your cash flow, it is necessary to ensure that your practice isn’t making these common collection mistakes:
Are you offering very few payment options to your patients? If the answer is yes, then show some flexibility and give them more payment options. For instance, nowadays, patients choose to pay through their credit or debit cards. So keep a card machine at the front desk so that payments can be made there and then by them. If possible, get an ATM installed at your practice because some patients insist on paying by cash.
You must have good financial policies for your practice. These policies need to be communicated to your patients as well so that any sort of confusion or discrepancies can be avoided in the future. The financial policies need to be comprehensive and should address challenges that your specialty and patients might face.
Hiring trained staff is the best way to ensure that your practice is collecting maximum from the patients. If your existing staff needs training, then get them educated in ways they can collect maximum payment from patients before services are offered to them. It is recommended to have trained staff on board, familiar with health insurance policies and trained in resolving payment disputes.
Not enough follow-up is also a mistake that your practice must avoid to boost patient payment collections. Chances of non-payment will increase if there is a delay in follow-up for payments. Patients should be sent their bill on their portal as soon as they have left the practice. Once this is done, follow-up can be done by calling them up or reminding them through email.
Lastly, not being prepared is another mistake that can affect payment collection. You must check the EHR on a regular basis to create a list of patients who have a huge payment backlog. Not just the EHR but Practice Management System will also help you in this. A good software will help you view the plan and patient balance in real-time. This information needs to be viewed periodically.
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