The process of patient collections has evolved considerably from the early days of simply collecting co-payments and sending out billing statements. Both providers and staff must adapt their business practice to maximize reimbursement from health insurers as well as patients. With an increased focus on patient collections, it’s worth exploring how the patient experience can be improved to assist in maximizing revenue.
Healthcare providers and patients have a common situation in that they are both dealing with health plans boasting high deductibles. Patients are finding themselves with a greater amount of out-of-pocket expenses while providers are responsible for higher co-pay collections. Today’s technology can help with tackling these scenarios. Modern practices are utilizing tools capable of producing an accurate time of service quotes. With this technology, the time of service collections process is streamlined and patients already have a comprehensive understanding of what they are responsible for. As a result, providers and office staff are better able to discuss financial responsibility with their patients, significantly improving the relationship.
During the process of collecting patient financial responsibility, it is also essential to remain cognizant of related state regulations. If full patient responsibility cannot be collected at the time of service, the state’s statute of limitations on consumer debt should be examined to ensure that proper collection practices and timeframes are in compliance and being followed. Individual state regulation dictates specific time frames during which you have the right to attempt to collect a debt from a consumer. Each state has its distinct limitations and may also include qualifying criteria. With that in mind, it is important to realize what your back-office collection practices may include. The more knowledge you have regarding balance billing regulations can go a long way in ensuring compliance.
This update is by Medical Accounts Systems, a full-service healthcare revenue cycle management company providing a number of services including insurance follow up and managed care disputes, physician reimbursement, extended business office services, and more. For additional information on our services or for any questions you may have on topics such as medical payment systems, please call 877-759-6315.