During the economic downturn, medical practices and hospitals are seeing lower-than-ever collections rates. There are a number of changes – both small and large – that your practice can make to improve the percentage of patients who pay and the time frame within which they turn in payments.
- Collect complete patient information up front. Taking down the patient’s full name and address, phone numbers, work address, date of birth, and emergency contacts gives up front gives you the opportunity to skip-trace and keep tabs on all of your patients. Ask for their social security number as well, though many may choose not to provide it.
- Verify insurance information with the insurance provider. Check on the accuracy and extent of the patient’s coverage as soon as possible, even if you’re busy.
- Be clear about your payment schedule and policies. Printing this clearly on the first page of the forms lets patients know what you expect up front and how failing to pay will affect them. If you use a third-part medical collections agency, let your patients know this – many may be more likely to pay on time.
- Consider a third-party revenue cycle management solution. This gives you a way to turn your collections over to a medical revenue cycle management company that specializes in collections and has the resources to dedicate to your account. Rather than having your busy office staff work on collections in their spare time, a third-party service can utilize their training to maximize your collections by working on them the entire day.