Point of service collections has become more complex ever since revenue coming directly from patients due to the proliferation of high deductible health plans is growing. These changes in healthcare have made front-end collections more complex resulting in reduction in collection. To successfully manage the increased pressure on patient collections requires a different approach for many organizations. Else, Patient due amounts can make up roughly a third of your practice A/R. Now chances have decreased by 50% that you’ll be paid full. Now on average only one-third of patient dollars are properly collected up front.
To successfully manage the increased pressure on patient collections requires a different approach for many organizations, one that focuses on people, processes, technology, and partnerships to ensure providers achieve as close to 100% of net collections as possible.
You must implement a process for maximizing collections otherwise more patients would be leaving without resolving their patient due amount. This process will ultimately increase your medical revenue and will also reduce time in A/R.
Follow this tips to at your practice to improve your collections process –
- Patient’s details – Try to collect maximum details about the patient. MAke them fill a form so that you get to know patient’s eligibility before scheduling an appointment. Also create a financial policy for the practice that all patients are required to sign at their first visit and annually thereafter.
- Patients support – Deploy a team which reaches to customer right at the front desk and assist and inform them about payments, differents options of payment. Also assist them on-site financial and Medicaid-eligibility counselors.
- Correct patient liability amount – Reduced effort associated with identifying the correct patient liability amount. So that collect copays and any outstanding balances can be checked easily at check-in.
- Modes of payment – Opt for different modes of payments so that patients pay for their medical services in any mode.In USA, online payment through EHR/PM vendor’s system is available almost everywhere. If you’re unsure if this is an option for your practice, ask your vendor. Statics shows that over 50% of patients pays their medical services bill using online mode. Also, 20% don’t consider paying in cash while paying for medical services.
- Electronic Statement – Apart from paper statement, mail them an electronic statement as soon as the patient’s due amount is known. Also, include a link to the online payment system.
- Bill cycle – If you are billing on a monthly basis then you are reducing your chance of getting paid. Better offer a statement cycle of 10-15 days so that shortens your A/R and increase the chance of getting complete medical revenue.
- Advance deposit – By collecting a deposit prior to the procedure, you reduce the risk of not getting paid.
- Trained Staff – Train your staff for better customer interaction. This will standardized front end workflows across the enterprise
As patients’ financial obligations increase, the physician’s ability to collect from patients will become increasingly important. Inability to collect bills receivable can adversely affect the medical revenue cycle of the practice. Some other solutions include improvement of the point-of-service collection processes, properly trained office staff, written financial policies, and the use of technology to facilitate online payments. Patients should fully understand their financial responsibilities and options available to them for payment of services rendered.