Gone are the good old days of the revenue cycle healthcare providers remember. They have been replaced by today’s reimbursement challenges and the problem of collecting final payments from patients after insurance has been billed. The new reality is that the final patient balance may take months to collect, unless the physician provider is pro-active, and that can wreak havoc on your revenue cycle.
Statistics on patient collections are compelling:
• Collect “pre”-service = 80% to 90% capture
• Collect “point-of-service” = 50% to 70% capture
• Collect “post”-service = 40% capture
The cost of collections on patient receivables can be expensive, so here is what the professionals at Fuoco Group recommend as best practices to help physicians maximize collections:
• Financial policies and collection procedures should be clear and well documented.
• Staff must be trained regularly regarding prior authorizations and patient collections pre-, post-, and point-of-service.
• Communicate expectations for payment to patients up front, either on registration forms, or practice website, etc.
• Emphasize the importance of benefits verification and eligibility to staff.
• Estimate costs and patient financial obligations at the first point of contact if possible, or as soon as possible.
• Directly engage patients early in the process after deductibles and co-pays have been identified, be sure they are aware of their obligation for payment.
• Be sure the “front desk” has a handle on the approach needed, and is incentivize to collect or follow up on balances.
Fortunately this is the new millennium and technology is available that can enhance collections. Enabling electronic transactions will lower operating costs and increase collections. Of course telephone calls help, but be sure to implement the following to increase your chances of payment:
• Send timely statements and balance reminders by email as well as text, in addition to “snail-mail.”
• Use secure click to pay links in those email and text reminders.
• Accept multiple forms of payment, but also allow more than one way to securely pay: web portal, mobile phone “app,” credit card on file, debit cards, payment plans, even Care Credit!
• If you have a high volume practice, an investment in medical collections software might make sense to help you mange both your patient and insurance collections process and follow up on accounts receivables quickly.
We’ve shared just one prescription that is part of our total care Rx for your financial health. Medicine is changing and so are your financial goals. Be a part of our New Financial Dialogue and see how our 360 degree approach can cut your risk, help you master the management of your practice, and bring you financial peace of mind for the future. Got questions? We have answers! Contact your New York or Florida Fuoco Group healthcare advisor at 855-534-2727.