Great collection practices start before a patient ever walks into a medical facility. Because there are so many steps involved in the revenue cycle management process, it is important to establish a healthcare debt collection policy for your office that all employees are able and expected to follow. A clear cut policy combined with customer service and collections training for staff members will ensure patient satisfaction and a healthy accounts receivables balance.
How will my healthcare organization benefit from debt collection training?
By fine-tuning you practice’s front-end processes, your employees will spend less time and effort on back-end tasks. For example, your revenue cycle partners should do their part to verify insurance eligibility prior to a patient’s visit. Meanwhile, front desk employees should collect updated demographics and make sure the data is entered accurately into your practice management software. If your organization emphasizes teamwork and makes sure that each person is doing their job right the first time, each subsequent task should flow more smoothly.
How can staff members extend their collections training to patients?
Collecting from patients at the time of service requires your patients to know that payment is expected up front. Here are a few ways you can make sure your patients are aware of your collections policy and that they understand their financial obligations to your practice:
- Do you have a patient portal with appointment request capabilities? Configure it so that patients are required to review and accept your payment policy before confirming the appointment.
- If you don’t have a patient portal, be sure to tell patients while confirming their appointment that payment is expected before they see the doctor. When a patient checks in for their appointment, have them sign a document that states that they have read and understand your payment policy. It is not enough to simply have a sign up at your front desk that states that co-pays are due at the time of service.
- At the time of scheduling, obtain a current phone number from the patient, as well as any health insurance information. If the patient has insurance, ask them to bring their card and co-insurance payment with them to the appointment. If the patient is unsure as to how much their insurance requires them to pay up front, tell them you will found out and get back to them.
- If the patient does not have insurance, inform them of the amount that they should be prepared to pay prior to the services being rendered.
How will patients benefit from debt collection training?
Explaining your debt collection policy to patients and outlining their financial obligations can benefit patients who do not understand what their insurance covers, what it doesn’t, and why. If your staff members are able to explain to the patient why they are responsible for a certain portion of the bill, the patient is likely to feel more comfortable about paying.
See the benefits of healthcare debt collection training firsthand by choosing expert revenue cycle partners for your medical organization.This information is not to be construed as legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Although we attempt to provide up-to-date information, laws and regulations often change. We make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of this document. For legal advice, please consult an attorney.