28 Jun 5 Keys to Collecting Patient Balances
High-deductible health plans are more prevalent now than ever. As a result, your practice’s financial health is increasingly dependent on your staff’s ability to collect patient balances due.
It’s important to make sure that collection is managed in a way that preserves the patient-practice relationship while still meeting your bottom line.
Draft financial policies: It’s important to educate patients about their responsibilities when it comes to payments due. A clear, concise policy will reduce confusion about what your practice expects from your patients.
Offer ongoing staff training: It’s essential that your staff are knowledgeable about the language of insurance. Making sure that practice employees understand common elements such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, and are able to answer questions will reassure patients that you have their best interests in mind.
Consider keeping credit cards on file: Keeping patient credit cards on file in a secure gateway that is PCI-DSS certified makes payment collection painless for both patients and staff. This approach does require extra attention towards cybersecurity and compliance with state and federal regulations, but patients appreciate the increased convenience of not having to pay manually.
Adopt helpful tools and technology: Consider adding technology solutions such as patient kiosks where people can manage self-check in and make payments via the interface. Other approaches are enabling payments via a patient portal online, so that payments can be made from the convenience of home.
Don’t tiptoe around the money conversation: Communication is the cornerstone to effective collection. When patient responsibility increases, so does the need for the clear and upfront approach. Never feel obligated to apologize for collecting a balance due.