To improve your bottom line, it’s not just the insurance companies you’ll need to follow up with for payment; you have to stay on top of your patient's balances too.
Many patients may discharge or leave with a final balance still open. Once a patient leaves, it is more difficult to get in contact with them, leaving potential revenue in limbo. This is why it is critical to have a clear and transparent conversation with the client, not only about the treatment they will receive, but their financial responsibility as well.
Your front office or admission team should verify benefits before the patient is treated. They should identify outstanding deductibles and be prepared to ask the client for it up front. The front office should also explain to the patient their copay and coinsurance responsibility once the insurance claims process.
Having a well defined intake or admission process with significantly improve your patient's experience - and your bottom line
Create a Timely Collections Process
Check patient balances regularly and follow up in a timely manner with every patient. For instance, you may send notices the first Friday of every month via mail. You might call the patient after a month or two of no payment. You should also decide when to send patients to collections; how many notices will you send first? However you choose to contact patients, be consistent with your process and always stick to your schedule.
Help Patients Understand Bills
Simplify your bill as much as possible to help patients understand what they owe. Provide the service date, how much the insurance paid, and their remaining balance. Include your office phone number to call with questions, an address to mail a check, or a link to an online portal where they can make the payment electronically. There are many EMR software that also serve as a patient portal which makes online payments quick, easy, and usually the preferred method of payment.
Get Payment Information on File
The best way to ensure your patients pay their balance even after they leave your care is to get payment information, such as a credit or debit card, on file during the admissions process. Having a credit card on file will make it easier for you to charge patients for their care. If you choose this method, make sure that you have the client fill out the proper consent form for you to charge the card on file in case of a delinquent bill.
Use Your Electronic Health Record (EHR)
Many EHRs offer functionality like online bill pay as well as email reminders to pay their bills. It may be easier to reach patients through email and can speed up your billing process, especially if you automate reminders. Make the most of your EHR by expanding the billing functions.
You can work with patients throughout their care, from admissions to discharge, to help them understand the billing process and increase the likelihood you’ll receive what you are owed. For more information on creating a great billing and collections process, contact Datapro billing for consultations, staff training and more