Every year the amount of bills sent to collections increases. This is hurting healthcare practices’ pocketbooks, increasing patient debt, and damaging patient credit scores. Because collection agencies are paid by healthcare providers to collect money from patients, healthcare institutions are paying to be paid. This is neither beneficial or a good use of your practice's revenue.
There are a number of different causes for bills being sent to collections. In most instances, your patients cannot afford their bills and the bills eventually are sent to a collection agency. In some cases, healthcare providers forget to bill patients, and the unpaid bill is eventually sent to the patient through the collections. The concept of collections and the unorganized revenue cycle management is harmful to the bottom line of healthcare providers and institutions. Patients are becoming more unsatisfied with healthcare organizations when this occurs. To keep satisfaction rates high and benefit your healthcare institution, we suggest following the three tips to send less bills to collections.
1. Respect Patients
- When treating patients, inform them on how much their treatments may cost. Ensure they know what the necessary actions are to treat them and explain if there are any treatments they can hold back on to save money while still doing what’s best for their health.
- If patients aren’t keeping up on their bills, keep in mind they may be feeling quite overwhelmed and stressed. Have a conversation with them to remind them they are not paying, and offer advice for their payments if you feel it is appropriate.
2. Gain Knowledge to Help Patients
- Let patients know what they could be facing if their insurance doesn’t cover their treatments and remind them there are actions patients can take to help pay their medical bill, such as loans or grants.
- Get to know the most common forms of insurance coming through your office. What do those insurance providers often provide to your patients? Knowing this will help you find better recommendations for your patients in the future.
3. Consider HIS for Help
- Outsourcing the Management of your Revenue Cycle can help your healthcare organization with patient billing. This will ensure your patients are getting billed accurately and in a timely manner.
- Utilizing HIS for your RCM is proven to increase revenue of healthcare organizations. Trusting knowledgeable experts to focus on your billing increases the effectiveness and efficiency of institutions, and in turn can often maximize patient reimbursements to maximize profitability.
Sending bills to collections can hurt healthcare providers and patients. Staying informed on tips such as these can help your institution send fewer bills to collections. Outsourcing revenue cycle management can help healthcare institutions to limit use of collection agencies by using RCM experts to maximize institutional efficiency and revenue.