In recent years, patients have become a payer. High deductible health plans represented 25% of insured consumers in 2010. This figure grew to 47% in 2018. Consequently, the bill is no longer just an insurance claim. Approximately 30% of the bill derives from patient balances, and increasingly fewer procedures are “copay only.”
Unfortunately, collecting from a patient is difficult. It is four times more expensive to collect from patients than payers. On top of that, an average practice writes off over 35% of the patient’s balance after a visit. As reimbursement rates continue to decline, practices must develop strategies and adopt best practices to collect patient balances.
Here are several best practices to consider while developing a strategy for your practice:
Verify Demographic Information
90% of denials are preventable. A simple mistake or omission often results in a denied claim. If a payer denies a claim, the patient is not responsible for the charges of their visit until the practice resolves the denial. Develop a checklist that ensures staff members verify and obtain required demographic information during scheduling and check-in of every appointment.
Automate Insurance Eligibility
On average, it takes ten minutes to check a patient’s eligibility manually. This time translates to $3.61 per verification. Manual checks are time-consuming, but they also increase the risk of inputting incorrect data into your PM system. By entering invalid info into your PM system, these inaccuracies flow to your insurance payers. Reduce the risk of user error. Save your staff time by automating insurance eligibility checks.
If you have not enrolled in this feature, contact your EHR/PM representative to add this to your service. For practices without the option, our platform offers automated insurance eligibility checks and integrates with most major EHR vendors.
92% of consumers want to know their financial responsibility up front. Educate patients on their out-of-pocket expenses through financial transparency.
• Communicate the estimated cost to the patient in advance.
• Adopt a collection policy that fits your patient population.
• Collect the patient’s responsibility before the procedure.
Patient Friendly Payments
Adopt a modern communications platform to reduce the cost to collect, improve the collection rate, and improve the patient experience. Inquire with your current EHR vendor to learn of the available options for your practice. 40% of patients state that credit card is their #1 method of payment (over cash, check, and ACH). Simplify the payment options for your patients.
Do you need a tailored solution to reduce your days in accounts receivable? Schedule a consultation today: Schedule Now