In recent years, patients have become increasingly responsible for their medical costs. This means that they’re paying more out-of-pocket for procedures than they did even ten years ago. While some patients can handle this, others struggle to cope with this extra financial burden. This causes many to have outstanding patient balances which can be a burden on both patients and their medical practices.
If you’re a medical practice struggling with outstanding patient balances, here are some ways you can cope:
The key to getting your payments is making sure that you have plenty of payment options. This will make it easier on your patients to pay you when the time comes. Offer online payments through a patient portal, or keep your patients’ credit card information on file to ensure quick and easy payments.
Retrain front-desk staff
Your front-desk staff is the first point of contact your patients have with your medical office. A properly trained staff will know to politely remind patients of outstanding balances, making it more likely that the payments will come in now rather than later.
If you’ve been repeatedly trying to get a patient to pay their outstanding bill with nothing to show for it, then there needs to be some form of punishment. However, don’t just punish a patient without any prior warning. Instead, send a letter to them detailing what will happen and when if they don’t pay their balance soon.
Collect payment at the time of service
While this won’t be possible for everyone, you should at least attempt to collect co-pay and co-insurance payment at the time of your service. In the days or weeks before their appointment, make it clear that they will be asked if they can pay in full at the time of their appointment so that they come with the right amount in hand.