It means that your practice may be too lax in collecting the money that’s owed to you. It can also end up hurting your business, especially if you begin to have difficulties finding the money to pay your practice’s bills. The following are four of the most common mistakes that medical or health practices make that often result in high accounts receivables that you should avoid making:
1. Not collecting at the time of service
By collecting patient balances, such as their copays, deductibles and their past-due charges, at the time of their service, will help to reduce the amount of time you waste tracking down patients that owe money and sending out bills, which costs more money to do. To ensure that patients pay what they owe at the time of their service, your staff should verify what their balance is before they show up. In fact, patient balances should be easy for staff members to access so that they can check their balances at the time they are making appointments. Your staff should also be trained to ask patients how they want to pay off their balance, not if they want to.
2. Not relaying payment expectations
Contact patients that have upcoming appointments in order to relay your payment expectations to them. If they understand that they will have to pay a certain amount at the time of their service, they will be prepared to do so. This helps reduce miscommunication. For example, a patient may show up thinking their copay is substantially less than it is, which results in their inability to pay. This results in having to bill them for what they owe, which in turn causes your accounts receivables to go up. In addition to letting patients know what they owe ahead of time, create a documented payment policy to send out to your patients. Display it at the front desk as well.
3. Not submitting insurance claims properly or in a timely manner
Not only should charges be submitted on the day the service is rendered, but insurance claims should be generated within 24 hours. The longer it takes to submit an insurance claim, the longer it will take to receive your money. Mistakes made on the insurance claims can also lead to rejections of those claims. This lengthens the process even more and requires your staff to appeal the rejection, which takes a lot of time to do effectively. In order to successfully appeal a claim rejection, a lot of research will need to be done in regards to the service that was provided, the insurance coverage and the rules and regulations involved.
4. Not updating patient information
If you don’t have updated patient information, your entire collection process becomes more inefficient. Your staff needs to update the patient’s information, from their billing address to their insurance information, every time that they visit. If you don’t have their correct address, then attempting to bill them for services rendered is going to be futile since they will never even receive the bill. And if their insurance has changed, you may not charge them the right amount, which could lead to issues with your insurance claims.
These are four mistakes that you won’t want to make if you want to avoid ending up with high accounts receivables. By outsourcing your billing and collections services, you can ensure that your accounts receivables don’t get too high. For information about our billing and collections services, be sure to contact us at ProMD today.
ProMD Practice Management is happy to help with your billing assessment needs so you can maximize profits and increase patient satisfaction. To learn more about how ProMD can make your practice run like a well-oiled machine, call 888-622-7498 or fill out our online form to request a billing assessment.