Improve Patient Collections in Healthcare
The foremost priority of any healthcare provider is to offer the best quality healthcare service to patients. A remarkable increase in patients' financial responsibilities is prevalent due to the high deductible plans. Increasing the collections is one of the many chief revenue cycle management components.
When you strategically plan and improve Patient Collections in Healthcare, it creates a healthy revenue cycle and offers a better patient experience—failing to enhance the same results in a higher risk of losing revenue.
Why Self-pay Collections Is Important In Healthcare?
After COVID-19, there has been a drastic and notable change in the medical payments while the increased costs and expensive bills have badly affected the patients.
The patients are weighed down with these medical billing payments. In such a case, to minimize the issues revolving around medical cash flow, the providers have to strategically adjust their collections in medical billing to reflect the current requirements of the healthcare industry.
It is needless to mention that self-pay patient collections contribute almost 20% of a doctor's revenue. But sadly, the medical practices are struggling as they collect only around 60 % of the self-pay collections. Keeping the Self-Pay collections as the foremost priority while planning your financials is crucial to avoid putting your practice at unnecessary risk.
Role Of Patient Volume In Enhancing Self-Pay Collections In Medical Billing:
One of the main attributes of a thriving medical practice is Patient Volume. Due to the current pandemic situation, the patient volume has drastically dropped, causing revenue loss for most medical practices.
The pandemic has created a strong hesitation for the patients to visit the medical practices for their treatments. The patients' fear of COVID-19 plays a major role in making them postpone the prescribed medical treatments.
Despite providing quality medical care to the patients, in no way does it benefit the medical practices' revenue cycle if they fail to maintain a consistent patient volume. Hence, managing a decent patient volume is paramount to enjoying a healthy revenue cycle.
Six Reliable Tips To Improve Self-pay Collections In Medical Billing:
It is essential to identify the areas screaming for improvement in the way collections are carried out. Let us discuss the six reliable tips that would improve Patient Collections effectively.
1. Ensure accurate collection of contact details and insurance information of patients before the appointments –The moment a patient contacts the healthcare provider for any medical care, the complete and accurate patient information about their contact details and insurance must be collected by the assigned front desk staff.
It is even better to provide them with an option of updating the same on the patient portal or emailing the required details.
The medical practice team can follow up and verify the coverage plans during the patients' treatment and throughout the completion of the collection process.
2. Verification of insurance eligibility and benefits to overrule any pending amount - It is crucial to ensure prompt coverage verification with the payers before the medical service or during the medical care provided. In case of any clarifications regarding the payer rules, it is better to clear them earlier.
Doing so makes it much easier to identify changes that occurred during patient collections to ensure which part of the treatment would be covered and which happens to be the patient's financial responsibility.
3. Include a patient's financial responsibility in your payment policy while checking in. Itis best to create an official medical payment policy that includes a patient's financial responsibility agreement and the paperwork that needs to be filled in by the patient during check-in. The ultimate goal is to provide clear guidelines regarding the collections to both the patients and your staff to avoid any revenue loss.
4. Offer multiple modes of payment and provide various payment plans – Provide the patients with flexible and easy payment modes such as cash or credit/debit cards and other easy online payment methods. By doing so, the chances of collecting the payments at check-in are invariably high. It is best to include an option to make online payments at ease using the patient portal to facilitate the payments.
In the case of huge amounts or balances, it is best advised to provide flexible and better payment plans to benefit both the patient and the provider. The healthcare staff needs to have thorough knowledge about the established payment plans for them to be able to explain them clearly to the patients. It calms down the patient and gives them confidence about paying for their required medical treatments.
5. Devise a proactive plan for vigilant follow-up – Being vigilant in follow-ups improve patient collection. By devising a proactive strategy, it is easier to identify the patients who fail to make on-time payments and alert the staff with the list of patients to be followed up. The team needs to know about the payment plans and details to discuss and convince them to collect the full payment from the patients.
6. Utilize the advanced and appropriate medical billing software –It is essential to utilize advanced and best medical billing software to streamline your collections process. By doing so, tracking the outstanding payment details is carried out quickly and made simple. The fact that it amplifies your payments rate while helping you minimize the costs in the long term suffices the point of spending much on purchasing the expensive medical billing software.