Within a health insurance environment that is constantly changing with new plans, higher deductibles, and varying reimbursement structures, the need to maximize your collections at the front desk remains key to a successful practice.
It is now more important that ever to collect the patients financial responsibility up front.
Over 11 million Americans are now covered by high deductible health plans and the financial liability has shifted to the patient at an increase of about 70% from just a few years ago.
Here are a few tips to keep your front desk focused on patient collections:
- Be diligent about eligibility. This includes verifying active coverage, co-payment/co-insurance/deductible amounts, and as well as provider participation.
- Develop policies that are focused on collections. Post these policies and maintain consistency in expectations. Payment for services is due at time of service. Period.
- Offer alternate methods of payment. Utilize technology and investigate mobile options for payment in addition to traditional credit card and check. Much of today’s practice management software offer a patient portal for electronic payments.
- And never underestimate the effectiveness of an incentive. Offer a prompt pay discount, or a signed payment plan agreement for larger balances.
- Most importantly: Train your staff! Creating these policies and procedures is a great start but you will need to impress upon your staff that these are not optional. Get into a routine and no exceptions. Repetition leads to efficiency.
The point is if you develop a relationship with your patient and maintain strict, consistent policies and procedures regarding payment expectations, collections will become a breeze.
Your bank account will thank you for it!