With the surge in high-deductible insurance plans, it is increasingly more important to make sure you have great practices in place for collecting money from patients.
Here are some tips for increasing patient collection rates.
Advise patients of past-due bills when reminding them of their appointments. You probably already have a policy that co-pays need to be paid prior to being seen, but make past due balances part of this policy as well. In addition, advise them during appointment reminders that they have a balance and will need it taken care of prior to their visit. This eliminates the surprise and allows them to take any action needed with their insurance company prior to the visit.
Understand deductibles for each patient and advise them prior to their appointment that this will apply to their deductible. You likely won’t have an exact amount due as they are checking in for their appointment, but make sure they know that they will need to make a payment as they check out after the appointment.
When sending statements, include a note about any options they might have. For example, when a claim is denied for coordination of benefits, they are likely getting a fairly sizeable bill. Let them know why it was denied, that they need to call the insurance company and who they need to notify in your office so the claim can be reprocessed. Also, if it is a large bill, you may let them know who they can call to adjust to self-pay rates. This makes them less likely to ignore a big bill.
Offer electronic recurring payments as the only payment plan you offer. Get the credit card information and permission to charge a certain amount each month and collect your money. This type of plan will lessen the work required to collect on payment plans each month.
Give them options for payment. Offer credit card payments on your patient portal or give them the option to call the front desk or billing department to make a payment by phone.