If you’re in the medical industry, you already know that the process of medical collections is a part of life. It’s becoming an even larger part of the business side of a healthcare practice because more and more people are uninsured. Couple that with the fact that Baby Boomers are now reaching retirement age and in need of medical care, and it is no wonder that healthcare practices spend more and more of the business day handling collections. The medical collections process is important. While you need to collect as much as you can on past due accounts, a little more than half of reported bankruptcies occur because of medical bills. Here are 5 tips you can use for medical collections to help your facility get paid.
Offer a Cash Discount
Even people who have health insurance are struggling to meet their deductibles so that they can get the care that they need. You can use a cash discount to help people get the medical care that they need while possibly reducing the number of accounts that go into collections. For accounts that are already active in the medical collections process, consider offering cash settlements. Considering that patients who file bankruptcy could likely mean your facility doesn’t get paid at all, a cash discount or even a settlement can mean that you’re able to put much needed dollars back into your practice.
Treat Past Due Patients Like People
Healthcare costs more than ever before. During the medical collections process, treat past due patients like people. This means treating them with dignity and respect. Keep in mind that from the business side of the practice, you may not know what the patient has undergone. In addition to facing the stress of needing medical care, they could also be dealing with a job loss or other issues.
While the collections process is certainly a necessity, it should be treated as an opportunity for the healthcare practice to continue to be seen as a provider of solutions. Keep a list of organizations that may be willing to help past due patients with their medical expenses. This not only helps the patient, but it helps protect your practice from negative online reviews by people who are upset over how they were treated.
Start the Follow-Up Process Earlier
Starting the follow-up process earlier can help prevent turning the account over for hard collections at a later point. Begin calling past due patients about payments the day after their due date. Help them find a way to make a payment. If they say they can pay you on a certain date, make note of it and follow-up with them on that day.
Create Affordable Payment Plans
Creating and offering affordable payment plans can help get past due accounts paid. You can offer payment plans for treatment or you can wait and create payment plans when someone enters the collection process. The problem with waiting until the medical collections process is that you run the risk of not getting paid at all if the patient decides to file for bankruptcy.
Get Professional Medical Collections Help
Medical collections can be difficult. If you’d like to increase the amount of money you collect, consider partnering with Clients ARM. With more than 30 years’ experience, Clients ARM focuses on the human side of collections. We provide both first and third party collections and we can help you get paid. To learn more about your options as a medical practice, schedule your free consultation today.