If you’re opening a healthcare practice, you have two goals: to help people and to make money. Even if your main goal is to simply do good in this world, you must still make enough money to survive and to keep your clinic open. To build a successful healthcare practice, you must do more than just open a clinic and hope to start seeing patients. Here are 5 keys that you can use to build a successful healthcare practice.
The first key to running a successful healthcare practice starts with patient intake. This is also the very first step of the accounts receivable management process. Without patients, you don’t have a working clinic. So, you must first acquire new patients. How you choose to advertise may depend on several factors such as your location, your target market, and your marketing budget.
If you are opening your clinic in an area that has other businesses near it (or if you’re located in an area that people will drive by in order to go to work), you can start by making up flyers or brochures and delivering them to those businesses. People enjoy things that make their lives easier.
If you enjoy writing, talk with your local newspaper and with local businesses about their newsletters. Offer to write a short article discussing something about health or a common illness. You’ll get to add your contact information and showcase your knowledge.
Contact local schools and ask about whether they allow local businesses to include small flyers with weekly take-home folders. This idea is probably best suited if you treat children or if you’re going to be involved in a community health fair.
Once you have patients coming in, you need to make sure that your patient intake process is easy. In addition to completing patient intake forms, your office has a very important decision to make. That decision lies in the extension of credit and payment plans. It is extremely important that you understand the credit control process and learn how to set proper limits. You should also provide options that your patients can investigate that can help them pay for your treatments in full.
Of course, you know that billing is important. Healthcare is largely dependent upon the insurance field. So, it’s important that you have your billing procedures in writing. It’s also important that you listen to your office staff. They will be the ones who, ultimately, know whether or not your billing procedures are functional and efficient for both your office and the patients. Ask for feedback. If changes need to be made, they should be updated in writing right away.
Billing procedures are also helpful for your patients because they know what to expect. They will understand when to expect their bill, how much they owe, how they can pay, and who they talk with if they have questions. Your billing procedure should also determine whether you will see people who cannot afford to pay for their visit.
Past Due Accounts
How your office will handle past due accounts is also extremely important. You must have a timeline in place that your staff can (and should) follow. This should include making contact with past due patients within the first few days to ask about the payment and to ensure they received their bill. This contact point can also be used to ask if they have questions about their bill.
Next, you should have in your plan when you will send a reminder letter. You should also have a plan for follow-up attempts. Finally, you should know when you will deem the account to be in collections and whether you will collect on it yourself or if you will partner with a collections agency.
When the past due account enters into collections, it is important that you consider the following:
- Are you willing to settle on the debt that is owed to you?
- Are you willing to negotiate a payment plan?
- What do you know about the collections agency that you are considering?
The third question is likely the most important question related to collections. Your healthcare facility will be associated with those collection attempts. This is why it is important that you know that the collections agency is reputable, follows the law, and stays out of trouble.
Get Professional Assistance
Your time is limited, and it should be spent helping others. Maybe you don’t have the funds to hire full time office help to keep your office running. Clients ARM has more than 30 years of accounts receivable management experience. We offer services specifically for healthcare facilities including patient intake, billing, electronic insurance claim filing assistance, ICD coding, and more. To see a comprehensive list of our services, click here.
We are also licensed as a collections agency in more than 15 states. Our collections rate is an astounding 99% and we would love to help you get the money that is owed to you. To find out how Clients ARM can help your healthcare facility, give us a call or fill out our online form. Ask about our free process review.