As the healthcare industry evolves, providers face increasing financial pressures and seek new ways to improve revenue cycle management. One critical area that providers can focus on to improve their financial performance is patient collections by outsourcing the billing task to medical billing services.
Patient collections refer to collecting payments from patients for medical services rendered. With rising healthcare costs, insurance coverage changes, and an increasing number of patients with high deductible health plans, providers face a significant challenge in collecting payments from patients.
Ways to improve patient collection in the medical billing services
Here are some strategies that providers can implement to improve their patient collection in the medical billing process:
Verify insurance coverage before treatment
Before providing any medical service, verifying the Patient’s insurance coverage is essential. This will help ensure that the provider is aware of the Patient’s deductible, co-pay, and any other out-of-pocket expenses they may be responsible for. In addition, this will enable providers to provide accurate and upfront cost estimates to patients before treatment, which can help to prevent billing disputes and improve Patient satisfaction.
When verifying insurance coverage before treatment, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Contact the insurance company: You can contact the insurance company by phone or email to verify the Patient’s coverage. Ensure the Patient’s insurance information is handy, including their insurance ID number, group number, and policyholder’s name.
- Verify the Patient’s benefits: Ask about the Patient’s benefits, including deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket maximums. Also, ask about any exclusions or limitations on the policy.
- Confirm the provider’s participation in the Patient’s insurance plan: Check if the provider is in-network or out-of-network for the Patient’s insurance plan. In-network providers typically have lower out-of-pocket costs for the Patient.
Provide patient-friendly payment options
Patients are more likely to pay their bills if provided with convenient payment options. Offering patients the ability to pay their bills online, through mobile apps, or by phone can significantly improve the likelihood of timely payments.
Providing patient-friendly payment options can improve Patient collection in several ways:
- Increased Patient Satisfaction: Patients with flexible payment options that fit their budget and preferences are more likely to feel satisfied with their healthcare experience. Doing this will lead to greater patient loyalty and a higher likelihood of patients returning to your practice for future healthcare needs.
- Increased Patient Compliance: Patients with options to spread out their payments over time are more likely to comply with their payment obligations and can help prevent unpaid balances from accumulating, negatively impacting your practice’s revenue cycle.
Establish clear billing policies.
Providers should establish clear billing policies that outline payment expectations and consequences for non-payment. This can include setting specific payment deadlines and providing clear debiting instructions. This can improve the Patient collection by creating a clear and consistent process for patients to follow.
- Determine your billing frequency: Decide how often you bill your clients or customers. Will it be monthly, bi-weekly, or on a per-project basis? Once you determine your billing frequency, clearly communicate it to your clients or customers.
- Define your payment terms: Determine your payment terms, such as the due date for payments, late fees, and any discounts you may offer for early payment. Ensure these terms are clearly stated in your billing policy and communicated to your clients or customers.
- Outline your billing process: Clearly outline your billing process, including how you will invoice your clients or customers, what payment methods you accept, and any required documentation or information needed for billing. Be sure to communicate this process to your clients or customers as well.
Utilize technology to streamline the process
Technology can be a valuable tool in improving Patient collections. For example, implementing electronic medical records, online billing systems, and automated payment reminders can help to streamline the billing process, reduce errors, and improve the overall patient experience.
Technology can be instrumental in streamlining the billing process. Here are some ways it can help:
- Automated invoicing: With billing software, you can automate creating and sending invoices to clients. This can save time and reduce errors.
- Online payment processing: By integrating online payment processing into your billing system, you can streamline the payment process and reduce the time it takes to receive payments.
- Electronic billing records: With electronic billing records, you can easily access and organize your billing information, making it easier to track and manage invoices, payments, and outstanding balances.
- Integration with accounting software: Integrating your billing system with accounting software can help you automate the bookkeeping process and reduce the risk of errors.
Outsource Medical Billing Services
Improving Patient collections is essential for providers to maintain their financial viability. Providers can improve their financial performance and Patient experience by implementing these strategies. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
When providing services to patients, be transparent about the cost breakdown and be available to answer questions about what their insurance covers. One method for making Patient collections easier is to indicate what the Patient’s insurance covers vs. what the Patient would have to pay by themselves.
Many clinics have trusted Physician Revenue Group, Inc. with medical billing and practice management for years. Our team of specialists has prior experience in your sector and can provide high-quality medical billing services. Contact us now to streamline your medical billing!