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Today, patients are taking even more financial responsibility for their care and hospitals will have to change the way they collect payments if they want to be economically stable. The healthcare industry continues to shift towards a more patient-centric model of care and hospitals will also have to change how they approach billing to adequately provide that care.
In this era of high copays and deductibles, patient payments continue to grow, becoming a large percentage of your total payments. Therefore, effective payment collections are more critical to the financial health of your practice with every passing day. Here are some of the tried and tested ways for getting more of what you are due from your patients.
When patients don't pay you, your practice is at risk. Patient payments alone make up about 20% of an average healthcare provider's total revenue, but most practices collect only a 60% of this amount. Here we have discussed some of the ways to improve medical collections so as to obtain better cash flow:
Every healthcare provider's goal should be to collect 100% of copays and deductibles on a daily basis from patients. Your patients need to be notified either through your website, portal, reminder calls, etc. You need to track your collections with the help of each office or staff member who have been designated the task.
Check the insurance eligibility of each patient before every visit to identify what copay or deductibles are due and ensure that the patients' insurance is active. Let your patients know what payment you will expect at the time of their visit and eliminate possible patient excuses for the same.
Set up payment plans for those patients who don't have the money but are willing to pay the amount in installments. Such payment plans must be documented in writing and signed by the patient. The plan should also clearly mention what will be the consequences if the patient misses a payment.
Make sure you have various payment options available at hand that make it easy for patients to pay you. Accept cash, checks, debit cards, credit cards, payments through the portal, website etc. More payment options mean more time-of-service collections, while making it easier for patients to make payments in a format of their own choosing.
Your practice should have a clear, standardized payment policy that the patients are aware of. This provides backing during difficult payment discussions and gives patients a set of consequences for not paying. If your patients face consequences for not paying in a timely manner, paying their medical bills becomes a priority for them.
Understand that it is not always fun for your billing staff to call patients to collect on past-due accounts. It can get frustrating and tiring for employees and some of them may become demotivated. Always show your staff your appreciation and offer an incentive program that will keep them motivated.
You will never be able to improve your medical billing collections if you don't track and manage your results. It should be your priority to review your collections every month during your financial meeting to see which methods and processes are working and which aren't.
Following-up constantly and being a squeaky wheel usually gets what you want. It's standard to contact your patients once a month and even once a week if you have the staff to do so. Regular and persistent contact may convince a good portion of your patients to pay up.
Having powerful medical billing software can streamline your entire collections process by tracking past due bills, identifying those patients who have fallen behind, and automating late fees. A robust solution may come with a considerable price tag but one need to understand that the software will end up saving a lot on internal billing resources as well as increase your collection rate.
Chances are many of your unpaid invoices eventually get sent to a third-party collection agency. Therefore, you may want to eventually consider using a third-party medical billing vendor who will work on your behalf and get you paid from everyone who owes you money. This will allow your staff to focus on the other day-to-day tasks, let you focus on your patients, while at the same time increasing your revenue.
Rapid development in technology has provided businesses with the tools to streamline processing, and to reduce costs as well as improve productivity and efficiency across the whole organization. The work of the AR department is essential to any business, as it is responsible for generating and sending invoices to the patients. Manual AR processing can be inefficient and costly, but by implementing an automated solution, businesses can streamline the process, enabling the AR team to improve cash flow, reduce operating costs and enhance customer service. Some of the benefits of automating AR department include:
Flatworld Solutions has been providing medical accounts receivable services for over a decade now to clients around the globe. Our highly experienced team of AR specialists has worked with different insurance companies and is well-versed with all their policies. We ensure that none of our customers face any trouble while receiving the payments which are owed to them.
If you have kind of account receivable collection service requirement, feel free to get in touch with us and we will get back to you within 24 hours.