As covered in our recent article on why we collect more for our clients, over the past 10 years there has been a dramatic increase in the amount that patients are due at the time of service. The 2015 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation on employer health benefits shows that out-of-pocket costs for patients has increased by 230 percent in the past 10 years.
So how can practices improve their patient payment collections? Follow these 8 steps and start collecting more today!
Staying on top of patient collections is vital to the financial health of medical practices - our figures say that patient due amounts account for 30 percent of a practice's income. Therefore wat we do as billing operations has an enormous impact on a practice's financial performance.
Here at PracticeForces, we have addressed patient collections by following strict guidelines, best practices, and, most importantly, by educating the practices we serve on collection procedures. Utilizing this approach, we have achieved a 99% collection rate for the past 2 years.
This translates to a 20% average increase in revenue per client, with spikes of 60-70% yearly revenue increases. For more information, see this recent half-yearly analysis of our services for one of our clients where, in just over 6 months, we achieved a 158% payment increase, and significantly reduced their outstanding A/R.
To help increase the effectiveness of your collection efforts, today we share 8 hacks that have proved highly effective for PracticeForces' clients.
Implement a Credit Card on File (CCOF) program:1. The following are some of the Patient Benefits of CCOF:
- Bills can be paid without having to go online.
- Patients do not have to bring payment with them to their visit.
- Patients do not have to wait for a bill statement.
- Collection expenses are reduced.
- Elimination of patient billing statements.
- Improved cash flow.
4. An established financial policy is the first step in having financial conversation with patients, as well as the number one tool to increase patient collections. If your practice does not have a policy, work with your billing company to develop a policy for patients to follow.
5. The financial policy informs patients on:
- What and when patients must pay.
- What is expected of them.
- What the patient can expect from the practice.
- Whether or not patient insurance will be billed.
Time of service collection is key:6. Decreasing collection time improves payment - in fact, after 30 days collection percentages drop dramatically.
7. This means the time of service is always the best time to collect patient due amounts.
8. Practices can provide scripts or role-play training to front-desk personnel to assist them in collecting co-pays, deductibles, and deposits from patients.
As patient financial responsibilities for health care services continues to rise, practices depend on billing companies to achieve high rates of patient collections. In reaching patient collection goals, we have seen great success as a billing company by following the key points in this article. As a result, we have educated many practices and helped them improve their in-office collection procedures and overall performance.
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