One of the biggest challenges faced by the medical practices is making the patients pay their medical bills one time. There are many patients who default on paying their medical bills, here some can be intentional defaulters and some might be the ones who do not have that intention originally. There can be several reasons for the patient making late payments; illness of course is one of them which does not have a convenient time to strike them. To speed up the payment process for the patients the medical practice need to make it easier and manageable for patients to stagger treatment, create a payment plan, and also work towards the full payment. Remember when patients don’t pay you; your practice is at high risk. Keeping the risk factor in mind today, here are tips to Avert Late Patient Payments for Medical Practice.
Tips To Avert Late Patient Payments for Medical Practice
1. Train Staff
First tip on this list is to train your collection staff to get payments started right away. Staff should find out what exactly the patient owes before he\she arrives for an appointment. Staff should keep the entire co-pay and deductibles ready at the desk before the patient arrives. The patients should be kept well informed of the next payment required for their next appointment prior to the date itself. The staff should ask the patients for the mode of payment on the day of appointment itself, this triggers the patients mind to make the payment. The medical practice should also establish an internal collection policy to efficiently handle late and missing patient payments.
2. Detailed Review Of Insurance Policies
The medical practice should have a system where they review the insurance policies in detail with patients. Reviewing the insurance policies with the patient helps the patients to find out more about their coverage before the treatment. It also ensures that the insurance policies remain active throughout the course of treatment.
3. Discuss Payment Plans
If talk generally then none of the patients actually wants to be responsible for the services. The staff should discuss the options with the patients to make it affordable and automatic. By doing so patients can have the options of choosing to link their accounts to automatically make the payments on or by due dates. This is an active step towards regular payments which do not overburden patients.
4. Collections Agency
The medical practice should know when to use a collections agency. The practice should set an amount and time limit for referring past-due bills to the collection agencies. If the bill reaches the set mark and the patient still hasn’t paid, the practice should strictly consider using a collection service. There is a point post which the simple notification from a third-party agency can make the patient realize you mean business.
5. Incentivize Your Medical Billing Staff
It can be a tiring and demotivating job for the billing staff to keep constantly following up on the past-due accounts and deal with unresponsive patients. By offering incentives to the staff the practice can give them some extra encouragement.
Putting the above strategies in place will definitely speed up your billing process and generate uninterrupted cash flows by averting Late Patient Payments. But remember not all practices are same and also every patient is different and can impose different types of challenges when it comes to payments. So not all these strategies can be right for your practice. But again putting the right one into place can boost your payment collections.
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