Tough economic times affect more than just individual workers and patients – they also affect the way doctor’s offices collect money, and in many cases, tough economic times result in slow payments after medical services are rendered. Slow collections can affect day-to-day operations for many small medical offices, though it can negatively affect even mid-size and large medical offices and hospitals. While you may not be able to collect all past-due payments overnight, there are some things you can do to gain ground on your collections.
Before treating a patient, always take the time to verify that their insurance coverage is current if their insurance provider will be picking up the tab for services rendered. If a patient presents insurance that is not current or will not cover the procedure or the full amount of the procedure, collecting money up-front will help reduce collection efforts after the patient leaves your office.
In the past, many doctors and medical offices have foregone up-front billing, allowing many of their patients time to pay their bills or let insurance take care of the bill. However, with many more people being responsible for their own medical bills than in years before, this method of collecting payments from patients may be a bit outdated, and can greatly delay receipt of payment. Try to get more money from patients up-front – that means before they leave the office - especially for basic services that are relatively affordable when paid out of pocket. By getting payments up-front you won’t have to spend as much time collecting money from your patients, or at the very least, not as much. A good benchmark to strive for is to collect 6-7% of your reimbursement up-front.
Make Sure Your Claims Are Accurate
When submitting claims, it’s important that the information provided is exact and completely free of mistakes. When your claims are accurate, you’ll collect faster and the time between services rendered and payment will be reduced.
Hire a Revenue Cycle Management Company
Using a revenue cycle management group, that works to collect insurance company and individual’s payments on a regular basis, can be an excellent way to keep your revenue stream stable and regular. Hiring a revenue cycle management company can also help reduce the workload for employees in small medical offices, who have other tasks to take care of.