What do I need to know to collect from patients at the time of service?
Collecting payment from patients at the time of service will directly affect the financial success of your healthcare organization. Having a strongly written financial policy that all staff members abide by and enforce is imperative to the success of collecting at the time of service as well as throughout the revenue cycle. In order to successfully implement a financial policy, make sure that staff are fully trained on the guidelines of the policy and that your staff is held accountable in getting every patient to sign the policy at time of service. To increase awareness with patients, post your financial policy on your practice’s website, inform patients about them when they call to schedule an appointment or question a bill and provide patients with a copy of the policy. To start improving time of service collections at your practice, you can also seek assistance with staff training from experienced medical collections experts. Click here to learn more.
What are some of the most common reasons for patient delinquency or nonpayment?
There are many reasons as to why a patient may not make a payment on their medical bill and in some case go delinquent on their account. The most common reasons as to why patients do not pay are:
- Not understanding the services rendered
- Personal wrong choices
- Failure to take responsibility
- Unforeseen Circumstances
- Divorce, unemployement, serious illness, bankruptcy, etc.
To better collect from patients in these situations is important for you to remember: 1.) the patient is responsible for any services rendered, 2.) their problems are not your problems and 3.) there are effective ways to successfully collect from your patient while maintaining a positive relationship. To read more about common collection problems affecting healthcare organizations and how you should handle each situation as well as what you and your staff can do to stay in control, click here.
What are the reasons medical claims get denied?
Filing a medical claim correctly in order to receive prompt and accurate reimbursement requires expert knowledge. It also requires reliability from staff members and attention to detail. After all, staff must begin collecting the data required to process a medical claim before a patient is seen by their doctor. When required information is missing or entered incorrectly, it can prevent a claim from getting approved. In fact, claims often get denied due to:
- Missing information (e.g. date of service; patient subscriber number)
- Data entry errors (e.g. misspelled name; wrong date of birth)
- Wrong diagnoses or procedure codes
- Failure to file by the payer deadline
Denied claims can result in payment delays and revenue loss – and they create additional work for your billing employees. Learn more about three of the most common causes of claims denials and how to avoid them.
What can a medical collections agency do for my organization?
The time and manpower required to collect on delinquent accounts can quickly drain a healthcare organization’s valuable resources. Additionally, if not carried out correctly, collections efforts can fall short and cause a business to slip into the red. In many cases, the best option for hospitals and practices is to hire a third-party agency for medical collections. Professionally trained medical collectors can devote their entire day to contacting patients, working with patients in making payment arrangements, and counseling patients on bill management if necessary. This takes the burden off of the physicians and in-house staff, and allows them to focus on providing high quality care to their patients. In addition to taking on debt collection efforts, the right third-party agency can provide your staff with billing and collections training that will improve cash flow and inspire positive change within your offices. Learn more.