Changes in the insurance industry are having a trickle down effect on providers’ financial stability. Patients are taking on more financial burden when it comes to healthcare costs, and providers are falling short when it comes to collecting from their patients. As an established company in the healthcare collections industry with years of experience under our belt, Resolute Connection (Grant & Weber) understands the sensitive nature of collecting a payment from a patient versus an insurance company. Rather than shying away from the growing issue, providers need to face the problem head on and make changes to their collection process if they want to have a thriving and fruitful practice.
The first opportunity for payment is at the time of service while checking in with your front office staff. However, you must ask for payment in order for your practice to receive a payment. Asking a patient for money is easier said than done, but by establishing expectations with the front office and providing them with the necessary tools, this process can be made much easier and more streamlined. For example, the implementation of a simple script with a specific way to explain your practices’ payment process is a great way to grow your staff’s confidence when having this conversation. Like in any tricky situation, you want to be equipped with as much information as possible to avoid any confusion. Once a surgery or procedure is scheduled, call the patients insurer to see if/how much of the service will be covered and gather the deductible and copay information. Having this breakdown on hand will prepare you to explain the breakdown of charges to the patient, and help ease any anxiety the patient may have about how much they owe.
Your patients will undoubtedly appreciate the proactive approach that your office has taken up until this point, and while they may have the desire to pay, not all patients will have the means to make payment in full at the time of service. By offering your patients payment options based on their ability to pay, you are helping ease their financial burden and ultimately your practice will recover more money. After finalizing a payment plan, make them aware of the online payment options and all forms of payment that your practice accepts. The more convenient the payment options, the more likely your patients are to stay current and not default.
As patients are taking on more financial burden in the healthcare world, providers would be wise to be as helpful as possible in providing accurate information, rather than avoiding this shift within the industry. They will make their patients feel empowered with knowledge while being able to keep a thriving, financially successful practice.