Did you know 80% of patient fees can be collected by a hospital if requested during the pre-admission process? Patients have become responsible for a large portion of providers’ revenue stream due to high deductibles and rising co-pays. In order to increase cash flow and reduce A/R days, practices need to ensure quick collection of these self-pay balances.
How can Practices Improve Patient Collection Process?
The following are top five ways to improve your patient collection. Read them and incorporate them in your practice for better revenue management from your end.
1. A Clear Financial Policy
It is essential for hospitals and private practices have a clear, standardized financial policy in place. This policy should be explained to the patients so that they are aware of expectations in terms of payment. It will also offer backing to your collection staff during difficult payment discussions.
2. Communicate with your Patients
It has been proved that collection of out-of-pocket charges at point of service is highly effective; however, this can happen only when you have trained staff who know how to explain and ask the patients for payment. Many hospitals have started hiring patient access staff and they are responsible for conducting financial counselling to patients at the time of registration. This has improved their cash flow to a great extent.
3. Offer Different Payment Options
Practices should offer different modes of payment because at times, patients look for options that are convenient to them. For instance, they should be allowed to pay by cash, debit card or credit card. Personal checks should also be an option; however, a check verification service should be in place to identify bad checks. Some practices accept preauthorized credit cards for payment. It allows them to set up secure payment plans.
4. Don’t Delay the Collection Process
The longer a practice waits, the less likely it is to collect. Hospitals and private practices should have an effective collection policy in place. Well-trained staff should send letters, emails and make calls to patients asking for payment and if there is no response, the bill can be sent to a collection agency.
5. Motivate your Staff
No matter what technology or system you have in place, if your staff is not motivated, all efforts might go down the drain. Providers can introduce an employee incentive program to boost collection rate. The program should offset its own cost of adding the revenue each collection the employee brings in.
Outsourcing Collection Process:
Payment collection process can be quite daunting, especially when healthcare reforms and payment cuts are posing challenges for providers. In such cases, it makes sense to outsource your collections process to a third party rather than hiring a collection agency.
Billing companies like MedicalBillersandCoders.com have been helping providers sail through collection challenges. They have a team of professionals who are trained in optimized revenue generation and collections. MBC can not only help reduce AR days, but also free up your staff to concentrate on quality care rather than following-up with patients. MBC is the largest consortium of skilled billers and coders, helping practices with payment collection, timely claims submission, denial management, follow-up with insurance companies and various other services.