Patients are encountering higher and higher medical bills because of the upsurge in high-deductible plans. In certain cases, patients are just not willing to pay their bills. For medical practices, it would mean identifying ways of enhancing your medical billing collections, must be your top priority for the year 2016.
As per the statistics provided by ACA International, about 29 % of adults are said to have medical debts or may have a problem in paying off the medical bills. These numbers should prompt you to spring into action and do something to boost patient collections. You must remember that this is an era of bigger deductibles and copays, patient payments are constantly on the rise and becoming a bigger percentage of the total payments. It is essential to ensure effective patient collection as that is crucial to your practice’s financial health. It is necessary for medical practices to collect whatever is owed to them.
Here are some effective tricks to boost the medical billing collections for your practice in 2016.
Train Your Staff Efficiently for Collection
Collections actually start right from your front desk. So the front desk staff should be well-trained and competent enough to collect the due cash from the patient before he gets to see you. Whenever your front desk personnel is contacting patients for confirming upcoming appointments, it is essential to inform the patient about the approximate amount he would need to carry with him and the patients should be explained regarding the different payment options that they could avail. The staff should intimate the patients that they should pay the amount when they arrive at your office or before their next scheduled appointment. In this context, the staff should be provided with relevant scripts that should be used while tackling overdue accounts. However, the staff should be trained to always be courteous and respectful. They simply cannot afford to lose their patience even if they are forced to make numerous calls to the same patient regarding unpaid bills.
Transparency in Prices Should Be Maintained
One of the primary reasons why patients do not pay up on time is simply because they had no idea about the costs involved and have not done the necessary budgeting to meet the expense. You need to be transparent with your patients and let them know about the estimated procedure costs so that they could decide for themselves whether they should go ahead with the procedure or not. Let them decide if the procedure is affordable or should they give it a miss.
It is also essential to scrutinize their coverage before scheduling their appointment so that you could talk about the estimated cost and remind the patients having high-deductible plans that there is every chance that they would need to pay out of their own pockets.
Choose Robust Medical Billing Software
You must make it a point to buy efficient and cutting-edge medical billing software to make billing an easy affair. Medical billing and practice management software are great for streamlining your complete collection process simply by tracking all past due bills, pinpointing those patients who have defaulted and automating the relevant late fees. You must get a powerful software solution for boosting your collection rate. You could even consider taking the help of a professional medical billing service for a boost in collections.
Offer Diverse Payment Choices
Most of the patients are willing to pay and they have the intention of paying up all the dues but presently they may not be having the adequate financial means to pay. You may think of various payment options and discuss those options with patients having larger or long outstanding bills. The patients who are finding it difficult to repay the entire amount at once may be given other alternatives, so that they can pay back in installments. Some of the options could be interest-only payments, payment plan, deferral etc.
Paying Must Be Made Easy
It is pretty obvious by now that you need to make the payment easy if you want to make sure that your patients would be paying their bills. For instance, if you allow your patients to pay you online with a debit or a credit card, there is bound to be a boost in your collections.
It is essential to understand when it is the right time for you to strike up a partnership with a medical billing company who would be collecting all your dues from people who owe you money. This would let your staff pay more attention to the daily activities of the medical practice and you could devote your entire time to what you actually do best, taking care of your patients without having to worry about collections. You just need to leave the collection work to the professionals and stay positive. Assure your patients that your mission in life is their well-being and happiness.
Author Bio: Galvin Robinson is an experienced healthcare professional having wide experience in medical coding and billing industry. He runs a blog where he shares tips about medical billing collections and recommends professional medical billing service to his readers.