While some health care providers demand that their patients pay their deductibles at the time of service, others are more willing to work with their patients. If you fall into the last set, then you know how difficult it is sometimes to get patients to pay their bills promptly. The average single person has a $1,491 deductible while the average family has a $2,788 deductible. Most providers are owed under $200 by each patient. Added together, however, these payments can equal more than 70% of the money due. Here are some deductible collection tips that you might want to consider implementing at your practice.
Many providers are reluctant to think like a retailer because they believe that it is their job to help people feel better. While they may do it with great hesitation, the provider needs to set expectations with their staff about how deductibles will be collected. If you are hiring new front-end staff who will be responsible for collecting money, then scripting or role-playing may help employees get used to this vital role while remaining professional.
Instead of seeing the patient and then asking for a deductible, consider asking for the deductible at the time the appointment is made. If you choose not to do this, at least let patients know how much money they will owe you when they see the provider. Asking earlier allows patients to move money around so that they have enough to pay you at the time of their visit.
If you are going to allow people to charge their deductible payments, then find workable solutions. It can help to take a sizable deposit at the time that service is provided, and then set up a six-month or 12-month payment plan. You may also want to work with financial companies who are in the business of lending credit to patients based on their credit history as this can take some of the load off your shoulders.
Think about how you can make it more convenient for patients to pay their bills. Some doctors have luck with setting up online payment methods. Others find that they do better when they receive permission to make a bank draft straight from the patient’s account. Think about how many different options you can offer patients to pay their bill, like accepting checks, PayPal, and major debit and credit cards.
Regardless of what revenue management system you have already implemented, there is always room for improvement. Contact Signature RCM about their revenue management services. They will be glad to look at your current plan and make recommendations on how you can improve your revenue management service now and in the future.