When it comes to the differences between struggling medical practices and successful medical practices, it often comes down to billing and collections efficiency and not the actual quality of the medical services. Maximizing your collections and improving billing performance will help to bring in more revenue, but it’s something that a lot of medical practices have trouble actually doing.
Demand co-pays up front – Make it known to your staff that you cannot bill your patients later for their copays. They should be trained to ask the patient for their copay. Don’t forget to let the patients know as well so that they have no excuse for not being able to pay for their copay upfront. Put your policy up on your website where patients can clearly see it as well as at your reception desk. Have your staff remind patients about their copay when they call them to remind them about scheduled appointments.
Check insurance eligibility – Train your staff to check the insurance eligibility for every patient before their scheduled visit so that you know exactly what they owe when they show up for their appointment. This ensures that they not only have active insurance but that you can charge them for the appropriate co-pay up front.
Provide multiple payment options – Make it easy for your patients to pay and they won’t have an excuse not to. For example, if you only accept cash and they only have a credit card, you’ll be forced to bill them later. Accept as many forms of payment as possible, including cash, credit cards, debit cards and checks, so that they have no excuses for not paying.
Set up payment plans – Patients that are unable to pay what they owe at the time of their visit or who have a balance past due should be placed on a payment plan. Document the plan and have the patient sign it. Payment plans are an effective way to get patients with past due balances to begin paying what they owe since otherwise, they may end up not paying at all.
Use urgent language on patient statements – Get rid of any casual deadlines on your statements, such as those that read that they must pay within 30 days. Instead, the first statement should read “Due Now” and any additional statement should read “Past Due.” When you send out final notice letters, do so at least two weeks before sending their balance to collections.
Remove old data – As you update your system with the new data of your patients, including insurance card data and personal information that should be validated on every visit, you should also go through the patient information you have and remove the data of patients that have left a long time ago. Some of these patients may have outstanding balances that still need to be paid. If they are small, you should consider writing them up as a loss instead of wasting resources continuing to bill them.
These are just a few of the strategies that you should consider implementing into your practice policy in order to maximize collections and improve billing performance. As you can imagine, it does take a lot of time and effort to keep track of collections, which is why you might want to consider outsourcing your collections and billing.
Outsourcing can not only help you maximize your collections as well, but will free up time and make your office run more effectively and efficiently, which in itself can help you improve your revenue.
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.