The healthcare insurance payers are unpredictable at the moment, causing problems for practices that are not paying careful attention to what are latest updates in rules and regulations. Now a days Co-payments and deductibles are rising, causing hiccups for medical practices as patients tend to pay much slower than insurance payers, leading to decreased cash flow. It is estimated that 25% families have an unpaid healthcare bill, 10% families can’t pay at all their medical bills and20% are having payment plan to pay off their bills over time. This scenario affecting cash flow of practices drastically, especially when co-payments and deductibles of their patients continue to go up.
Few steps that help practices to keep cash flow smooth:
1. Upfront payment collection:
Make it a practice to require payments up front from patient at the time of appointment. Post it on your website. Train your staff that reminds patients that they will need to pay their co-payments whenever they call them to remind them about their scheduled appointments.
2. Multiple options of payment:
To encourage patients to pay upfront, offer them options to pay, such as cash, check, credit card or debit card. Patients cannot use excuse that they do not have cash on hand to pay.
3. Keep patient credit card info:
Keep patients’ credit card information and get them to agree to allow automatically bill their card for the services they got. Get permission to do this, of course, and make sure to take security precautions to keep their credit card information safe.
4. Incentive for paying upfront:
Some patients used to pay later. It is preferable to not being paid at all, get some of these patients to pay upfront with incentives - a small discount for paying prior to appointment.
5. Outsource billing and collections:
Outsourcing medical billing and collections services improve cash flow, and your office will run more efficiently.
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