Physicians provide a service for which they should to be paid. And the front desk and business office need the help of the physician to collect what is due. What do I mean by that?
- Patient responsibility as a percent of total revenue is projected to approach 30% in 2012. Are you ready to collect nearly 1/3 of your revenue from the patient?
- Nearly 50% of all benefit plans are now high deductible health plans. You will need to collect from half of all patients, not insurance, for the first 3-6 months of the year. For many of your healthy patients, you may not receive any money from the payer. If your processes have not changed to deal with this reality, schedule a staff meeting today.
- Price estimates must be developed and USED. A minimum amount must be collected from every patient. Probably a minimum of $150. Remember it’s easier and cheaper to refund than to collect.
- When a patient has a $6000 balance, is unable to pay and is uninsured, you need to collect at the time of service for all future appointments. And BTW, $20 monthly payments will not get the outstanding balance paid off. Can you really afford to continue seeing this patient?
- When seeing newborns, they should be treated as self pay patients until active insurance is verified. Help them make the call to their insurance company while their waiting to be seen. What happens if the parents don’t get the child added to their insurance within 30 days?
- Every patient’s insurance must be verified prior to the date of service. All walk-ins need to be verified before being seen.
- Copays must be collected before being seen.
- Use ABNs and Waivers for procedures not supported by the diagnosis. If you don’t get these signed, you can’t bill the patient. This could account for as much as 10% of revenue depending on your specialty and practice. Use electronic tools to help you with this.
Your practice is a business. A business that cares, but yet a business. Your mission has to be supported by sound business practices. It’s time to up your game. Are you ready for the challenge?