We find that good policies and practices on the front end and on the back end can bridge the revenue leak gap dramatically.
Front desk personnel should take a firm approach to collecting copays, coinsurances, and deductibles prior to providing services. This has become more critical to practice profitability than ever before due to the higher patient obligation for most insurance policies today. The front desk is a key position in any medical practice, so training for this position needs to be clear and comprehensive. It should include questions that need to be asked and information that needs to be obtained on the appointment call as well as a clear procedure when the patient arrives at the office. Develop a check list for new employees. Eligibility and patient financial responsibility should be verified when the patient schedules the appointment, be sure and obtain a contact phone number so you can advise the patient of any deductibles or coinsurances that you expect paid at the time of service.
Develop a payment plan for your practice. Not all patients can pay their full balances up front. Since the medical practice is making a loan to the patient for services for a predetermined period of time for an agreed upon amount, consider charging a billing fee, or a finance charge, after all, your not a bank and you need to be paid for your services just like any other business. This agreement should be in writing and signed by both parties, it should also state what happens if in default. We always ask clients…When was the last time you went to any retailer or restaurant and was able to leave without paying for your purchases? Somehow consumers view the medical profession to be different when in fact its not! Be sure to accept credit cards, there are indeed fees associated with this, but it’s a lot less than what $$$ sitting in the >120 column costs you, or even what it costs you to send that account to collections, and don’t forget the loss of patients that happens as a result of nonpayment or patient financial issues.
Be proactive with this, just these couple of changes will make a difference in you’re A/R and revenue in a short time!
Stay tuned for our next article on bridging the revenue leak gaps on the back end and as always, feel free to contact us if we can assist you with any of your billing needs and…
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