According to the recent studies by ACA International, 29 percent of adults have medical debt or have a hard time keeping up with their medical bills. From these results alone, it’s apparent that something needs to be done to improve patient collections.
Physicians and practice owners are already taking drastic measures in hopes to ease the pending problem.
Here are some of the tips to improve or boost patient collections.
PROVIDING MORE OPTIONS
Obviously when your patient’s pay their balances, your practice will benefit. Providing the patients with more payment options means a win for you and your practice. Allowing them to pay cash, check, debit/credit card and through an online payment portal are among these options.
Online payment option is considered the future norm as it brings convenience to the patients where they don’t have to travel anywhere or write anything by hand in order to pay their bills online. A 2006 New York Times article reported that 35% of Americans were paying bills online. One can only assume the number has risen since then.
SETTING A STANDARD PAYMENT POLICY
Your practice should have a clear, standardized payment policy that patients are aware of for the following reasons:
- Provides backing during difficult payment discussions
- Gives patients a set of consequences for not paying.
When your collections staff is trying to collect payment from a patient having a standard policy reduces the patient’s wiggle room. They don’t have the option of saying “Oh, I thought I could pay it later,” if it’s clearly outlined in your policy.
PERSISTENT BUT NOT ANNOYING REMINDERS
There is a fine line in collections between reminding your patients that they need to pay their bills and harassing them.
Remind any collections staff to remain cordial in all interactions with patients. Patients are more likely to work toward payment with someone friendly, rather than with someone they find threatening.
Send out patient statements on a regular basis and contact patients who become past due on their balances. Remind them of your payment plan policy.
Communicate with your patients before their visits if they have a deductible to meet. It’s good to know what your average payment per visit is for your top payers, and let patients know what they will be responsible for paying at every visit.
If you have a plan in place and an empowered team, patient collections can go from a frustrating situation to a routine scenario very quickly. But there’s also a way to make patient collections easy – with Park Medical Billing, of course!
At Park Medical Billing, we handle the patient statement process for our clients. Our dedicated staff will explain their bill to your patients and answer all their questions. Your front desk staff does not have to be experts on your patient’s co insurance and copays, that’s what medical billing company is for! Contact us today at 201-585-7306.