Recover patient balances effectively
Patient collection is an integral part of the revenue cycle management, yet it is also the task medical practices enjoy the least. Patient deductibles are in general increasing. According to a study, 22.7 percent of people under the age of 65 with private health insurance are enrolled in high deductible health plans. According to the McKinsey report, 36 percent of patients have a balance of 60 days or more past due. So bad debts are on a rise as well. Determining the actual amount of money due and finding effective, yet cheaper ways to recover it is what becomes tricky.
Recommendations on improving patient collections:
Determine how much money is yet to be recovered and sitting on the accounts.
To draw an action plan you must first know how much is it that you are actually looking at. Do individual outstanding patient responsibility analysis. This will help you come to a specific dollar amount which will help you determine the amount of effort that needs to be put in this domain.
Divide your list of patient accounts as definite collectible and definite non collectible. It is the definite collectible accounts that need your attention.
After short listing your patient accounts try and look for patterns by which money can be recovered easily (e.g: patients recently seen can be more likely to pay).
Take a call.
Determine whether you are willing to write off certain accounts v/s pursue aggressively by constant follow ups and reminders. Resorting to collection agencies can also be a part if your plan but the feasibility should be thoroughly calculated.
Design payment plans for patients with higher balances; this would help in reducing the burden of one time full payment on your patients, keeps the money coming in at intervals and most importantly your patients will be happy. Provide online payment options – many if not most, of the patients are accustomed to carrying their transactions online.