Managing Medical Debt With Help From Medical Accounts Receivable

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Healthcare costs are inevitable and everybody has them, though some people have a lesser financial capacity than others. Patients who are uninsured or going through financial difficulties, however, shouldn’t feel discouraged. More often than not, talking to your doctor’s medical accounts receivable department can open up a variety of options to help you pay your medical bills in a more manageable way.

Arrange a Payment Plan: When medical bills start piling up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel the need to ignore them. Instead of shrugging the bills off and giving up, talk directly to your healthcare provider about working out a payment plan. Be proactive and contact your doctor as soon as you receive the bill, as they are usually more open to working with patients who show a willingness to pay. Once you have agreed on a payment schedule, try your best not to break it, otherwise your provider’s accounts receivable department may not be as accommodating next time.

Ask About Lump Sum Discounts: If you offer to pay your bill in full, many doctors will agree to reduce your total payment amount. This is especially true if you offer to pay in cash. Lump sum payments ensure the provider will at least break even and means one less patient to keep behind over unpaid bills.

Look into Charity Care Eligibility: Most hospitals and healthcare practices have scoring models to identify patients who are eligible for financial assistance or charity care. If you think you might meet the requirements for charity assistance, ask your provider for help. If possible, do this before services are rendered, and be prepared to show proof of income and hardship.

Appeal Denied Claims: If your insurance provider denies a medical claim, make sure the denial is valid; otherwise, you can appeal it. If you’re not sure why a claim was denied, talk to your provider’s medical accounts receivable department to find out why and what your options are.

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