Patient Collections- Common Mistakes Practices Should Avoid

Do you have an effective patient payment strategy in place?

If you wish to maximize collections and streamline your practice workflow, then make sure you are serious about patient collections. According to a survey conducted by MGMA (Medical Group Management Association), approximately 25% of revenue for practices is generated through patient payments. If you fail to collect Medical Billing payments in a timely manner, your practice will experience serious revenue loss.

Patient Collections- Common Mistakes Practices Should Avoid
Patient Collections

It is not only important to have an effective collection strategy in place but practices also need to avoid common collection mistakes that their staff make:

  • Providing very few payment options is a common mistake that practices need to avoid. If you are restricting yourself to taking cash from patients, then collection will become a headache for you. Offer them some flexibility in terms of payment options. Let them pay through debit cards and credit cards. It is recommended to keep a card machine at the front desk so that card users can pay you there and then.
  • Every medical practice needs to have strong financial policies. These policies need to be communicated to the patients as well. This will help you avoid payment confusions or discrepancies in the future. Just make sure that the financial policies are comprehensive and issues pertaining to practice and patients are being addressed by the policies. Patient responsibilities for all the non-covered services also need to be clearly defined.
  • Do you have trained front-desk staff? If not, then get them trained and educate them about different ways of collecting patient payments before the Medical Billing Services are being offered. It would be great if you could get staff familiar with health insurance policies. They also need to be trained in making collections, looking up patient payment history and resolving payment disputes. Only when the front-desk staff is updated with payer payment rules changes, your practice will be able to collect more.
  • Preparation is the key to getting maximum payment from patients. If you are not checking your EHR regularly and working on the list of patients with heavy payment backlogs, then you are making a big mistake. Seek assistance from your EHR and Practice Management System on this. Only when you have a good software, you will be able to view the plan and patient balance in real-time. This will let you know about patients lagging behind in payments.

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