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.
Considering the implications of growing your business, the decision to outsource can be a difficult and complex one to make. Although they are both disadvantages and advantages to weigh, above all, it is important to carefully plan and think through the inherent benefits to the concept of outsourcing.
Corporate operations that are commonly outsourced include collections, licensing, information technology, customer service, and accounts receivable training and management. The decision to outsource such practices to other companies is based a number of inherent advantages.
A primary reason for outsourcing includes reduced labor costs. Outsource service provides are dedicated to a particular service such that they can increase operating efficiencies at much lower cost that could be done while performing the operation in house. While a lot of outsourcing is done oversees, there are a number of providers that do not need to exploit cheap labor in other countries, simply because their dedication to a few services allows them to maximize output while economizing costs.
Another leading advantage that outsource service providers possess is their focus on core business functions. Their core focus on a small number of competencies allows them to gain an expertise and high level of efficiency in delivering the service. A revenue cycle management training and education provider, for example, will know how to contribute efficiently and successfully to their clients.
Organizations that outsource also benefit from reduced liability by partnering with a provider that is more adept and knowledgeable of the service that they are providing, than the in house company. Especially at small companies and enterprises, where employees have to wear many hats and take on many different responsibilities, in many cases these employees need adequate training and knowledge of tasks that they must perform. The training time and also the risk for liability are often not worth the time and money invested. In less time, more often than that, a outsource provide can provide a complete revenue cycle management solution, for example, when a such a task would be insurmountable if performed in-house.