The growth of high-deductible health plans, combined with the economic downturn, has made collecting fees from patients a growing challenge for medical practices. As patients face higher out-of-pocket costs, physician practices see an impact on their cash flow. Physicians need to change their strategy for collecting payments. Here are five strategies to help improve your medical practice’s finances.
1. Train Your Front Office Staff
They should have payment arrangements made before the patient sees you. Make sure there are signs in the office visible to patients clearly stating the payment policy. Provide a detailed script for your office staff to use when calling patients to collect on overdue accounts.
2. Be Clear About Medical Costs
Check coverage before appointments. If a procedure isn’t covered, make sure the patient is aware of the out-of-pocket cost. Inform those patients with high deductible pans that they will be paying out of pocket.
3. Offer Payment Plans
Offer a payment plan for those patients with high outstanding bills. Offer interest-only payment plans or deferral options. Most patients have every desire to pay, they just may not have the full means to do so all at once.
4. Make It Easy for Patients to Pay
Offer online payment options, a direct-from-checking payment option, and accept all major credit cards and checks.
5. Know When It’s Time to Outsource Your Medical Billing
Are you satisfied with your key financial metrics from month to month?
Does your practice consistently pursue payment when claims are denied?
Does your practice have difficulty posting payments accurately and/or in a timely manner?
Are you collecting 90% or more of what you billed for?
Are you confident that you have the necessary resources to handle the ICD-10 updates?
If you answered “no” or “don’t know” to any of these questions, outsourcing might be the right step to optimize your results. Contact APEX today to see how we can improve your practice’s finances. For your complimentary consultation, call (602) 497-3471 or contact us online.