Research has shown that most patients will pay what’s due from them at the time of service in a medical practices office. Some patients will request deferrals (payment plan). Others may qualify for financial assistance from your practice and some might even refuse to pay. Taking a consistent approach to collections reduces the stress that patients feel when they don’t know what to expect.
Asking for money is difficult, especially when someone is ill. Well trained medical staff can help the process by being properly upfront with the patients and demonstrate respect when alerting them about their financial responsibility at the time of service.
If you provide the patient with the following documents, it will make your approach more effective without the harshness that can exist when requesting payment.
Documents (Time of Service)
Summary of insurance coverage, benefits eligibility and financial responsibility. When a practice verifies insurance, this summary is normally reviewed to validate the patients’ insurance. While retaining a summary for the office files, share a copy with the patient.
Statement. A patient that has a balance probably received copies in the mail or viewed it online. When the patient is on site, use that opportunity to print out and hand them a statement personally.
Explanation of Benefits (EOB). The balances due from insured patients are most often in the form of deductibles or coinsurances. They are outlined in writing on the patients’ EOB. Even though the patient might have received a statement in the mail, consider sharing a copy of the EOB as you ask them for payment.
Collecting money is never easy, but with a consistent approach your patients will know when they walk in the door what is expected of them.
Iron Comet Consulting is a certified Platinum Reseller for McKesson and is located in Stockbridge Georgia. We are a full service medical IT and billing company.