A four-step guide to optimizing healthcare revenue cycle management for your practice.
Outstanding patient accounts are a touchy subject for many practices. Because the patient’s relationship with the practice is at stake, many providers and administrators are hesitant to do more than send out monthly patient balances. Although some patients will respond to this technique, many others will not—which means that your practice is spending money to collect balances that are never paid.
With the help of the Medical Consultants Group, practices can save money on in-house administrative costs associated with collection, collect more money and maintain a positive relationship with their patients.
Step 1: Find a way to keep patient payment information on file.
The first law of holes is, “When you discover you are in a hole, the very first thing you should do is stop digging!” If you apply that to the patient balance situation, it would translate to, “If you have a large patient A/R, the very first thing you should do is stop adding to it!” That is why we recommend implementing our system for handling patient balances at the time of their visit to the practice. If you implement this step, the amount of money you are adding to the patient A/R will be either eliminated or greatly reduced.
Step 2: Address your existing patient accounts receivable list.
First, pick a cut-off date, such as December 31, 2013. Any patient who has a balance older than that has already received many statements and been unresponsive. It is safe to assume that they have little or no intention of paying.
For these outstanding patient balances, it is best to start the collection process using a gentle method. We recommend our 5 touch program, which uses a combination of calls and mailings that contacts the patient twice a month on or around pay days. This will either prompt the patient to contact the practice, begin making payments, or help you understand that the patient really has no intention to pay and that more aggressive collection tactics are required.
Step 3: Establish communication with patients who have recent outstanding balances
For patients that have balances from this year, we recommend a communication strategy, not a collection strategy. Our unique, 5 touch campaign uses mail and phone calls to the patient, which simply ask them to contact the office. The mailings will go out using your letterhead and the calls will be made as if they were from your office.
On average, this technique will result in 70% of the patients contacted contacting the office. Once the patient contacts the office, you can put them on the Exchange EDI program and utilize their credit cards to handle any payment program.
Step 4: Follow up on older patient balances using our 5 step collection strategy.
At this point, you’ve collected up to 70% of outstanding patient A/R. For the 30% of patients remaining, we recommend moving forward with the same light collection program described in Step Two. On average, this will result in an additional 12% of the original list of patients contacting the practice.
Once the patient contacts the practice, you will need to ensure that they provide you with a reliable form of payment.
The remaining patient balances will require a stronger collection approach.
Patient A/R Management Made Simple
Are you ready to set up a process so you can stop chasing outstanding patient balances? We’re here to help.
To schedule your free consultation with the Medical Consultants Group, call (404) 272-4883 or fill out our online contact form.