Providers need more emphasis on collection from patient balances. It might be a direct result from high dollar deductible health plans associated with health saving accounts or tax- advantaged medical savings accounts.
Our successful and expert patient collection strategies revolve around the basic concept of better communication and education of medical debt owed. These patient collection strategies should recognize that it costs two to three times as much to collect from patients as it does to collect from payers. As such, practices should avoid costly programs that result in ineffective statements and calls that donâ€™t pay off.
Patient statements are sent to the patient or guarantor needs effective way to convey the balance due for medical services. This is not just to inform the patient about their outstanding balance, but also, the information regarding the provider, services performed, charges of services, payer payments and adjustments. You will have a higher chance of getting a patient to respond, if they understand how they relate to the services performed.
Patient Follow-up Programs
Patient follow-up programs go beyond the traditional written communication; they include action steps to proactively reach out to the patient/guarantor. Follow-up process differ from practice to practice.
Payment Arrangement Policy
The ability to offer patients the option to make time-based payments or discounted amounts in many cases will motivate the responsible party to resolve medical debt which otherwise would go unpaid. This is particularly important when working with uninsured or underinsured patients. Most of the time, a time-based arrangements are created through a structured plan when the patients call to inquire about their account. The providerâ€™s payment arrangement policy is generally disclosed at the time the service is rendered and through other written and verbal communications.
Patient Facing Call Representatives
It is important to provide personnel with necessary skills to deal with nuances of patient inquiries. The patient representativeâ€™s challenge is to go beyond basic inquiry scripts but to truly assist and educate the patient in understanding their financial responsibility. The necessary skills to provide personnel with vary between both training and experience. Personnel should be familiar with medical insurance reimbursements, as well as, the provider financial policies. Statistically speaking, two-thirds of calls are related to inquiries about their bill and insurance coverage. It is vital that the patient representative is communicating what services were rendered while looking at the account and why the patient is responsible for the charges incurred.