It goes without saying that your medical practice depends on collecting payments and monitoring profitability and cash flow. Unfortunately, with the rise of high-deductible plans and steep co-pays, many patients struggle to pay their bills.
This means your practice must become savvy at collecting payments. Physician Revenue Solutions, located in Chicago, Illinois, has both the training and experience to ensure you not only collect payments but collect them in a more time-efficient manner.
Here are some ideas on how to improve the collection method for more consistent and efficient cash flow:
7 Ways to Improve Collections
1. Partner with a medical billing service
Your in-house staff can get very busy with work, compromising their focus on patients that is needed for a successful medical practice. Outsourcing your billing services to a professional medical billing company that specializes in billing operations and collection payments, like Physician Revenue Solutions, could help free up time so they can focus on patients, while the professionals focus on ensuring proper cash flow and increased profitability.
2. Use billing software
Billing software can help streamline practice management by:
- Tracking bills
- Identifying which patients are behind on payments
- Calculating overdue fees
Although purchasing this kind of software can be expensive upfront, it will be an investment in your practice in the long run.
3. Be transparent
If a patient knows the price of the visit or treatment ahead of time, they can determine whether it is in their budget. Informing patients of exact costs beforehand can ensure they can make their payments.
4. Keep Patients Updated
Notifying patients of any remaining balances on their accounts can lead to a better collection rate for you and your practice. We recommend notifying your patients regularly using the following ways:
- Text alerts via smartphone
- Phone calls
- Reminders via Email
- Online payments from billing statements
5. Train front-desk staff
Make sure your staff is trained on payment collection methods and know-how to inform patients of their payment balances, options, and deadlines.
Scripts can be beneficial for your staff so they know what to say and how to say it when patients ask questions. Plus, having proper verbiage guarantees respect, courtesy, and professionalism when patients need to be contacted about an unpaid bill or are confused as to their balance.
One way to increase transparency would be to post signs around your office stating your office’s payment terms and policies.
6. Have Multiple Payment Options Available
Offices that offer more options to pay for services and procedures oftentimes enjoy higher collection rates than those who only have one or two payment options. Credit and debit card payments, online payments, and payment plans are all effective options for your practice, especially for more expensive services and procedures.
7. Track collection results regularly
Review your current collections process to identify what its strengths and weaknesses are, and determine whether your current process is working, or if you need to test out another option. Monthly meetings about financial matters can help you stay on top of your collections, as well as give you ideas for how to improve moving forward.
Contacting patients who are late on payments regularly – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly – can help stabilize cash flow as well.
These tips allow you to focus on your patients’ wellbeing while ensuring your cash flow is stable.