Five Strategies for Strategic Debt Recovery of Self-Pay Patient Accounts
Few people are comfortable requesting payment from patients. Many untrained representatives often resort to passive inquiries like "Would you like to pay your balance today?" enabling the patient to answer "No," or provide an excuse. Ideally, the better approach would involve the representative stating the balance and then saying, "For your convenience we offer [list your payment options]. How would you like to take care of this today?" This is a very simple example of how modifying everyday communication can make a difference.
5. Understand the weaknesses of your business office operations. One key to keeping your cost to collect in line with recovery results lies in understanding the capabilities of your business office and augmenting those capabilities where needed.
Areas that may need additional attention include: statement generation processes, payment plan monitoring, charity care qualification, incoming customer service and outgoing patient follow-up. Even with the latest advances in information system software, many systems lack efficient features required for effective follow-up on patient liability balances.
The antidote for curtailing bad debt and uncompensated care is a streamlined payment recovery process from self-pay patients. Financial leaders should strive to design an effective and efficient process that utilizes metrics, better patient awareness of POS payment and employee POS collections training and understanding the limitations of your business office.
Scott Koenig is president and owner of KeyBridge Medical Revenue Management, an Ohio-based accounts receivable management firm specializing in the healthcare. He is a past president of the MDHBA, a national association of healthcare receivables management firms as well as past president and current board member of the Ohio Receivables Management Association (ORMA), the state unit of ACA International.
For information on how you can contribute to HealthLeaders Media online, please read our Editorial Guidelines.
- Half of All Primary Care, Internal Medicine Jobs Unfilled in 2013
- How Digital Strategy Shapes Patient Engagement at Boston Children's Hospital
- CNO on Hospital Redesign: 'You Can't Over-Communicate'
- CFO Exchange: Smartphones Poised to Disrupt Healthcare, Says Topol
- Some Cancer Hospitals' Quality Data Will Soon Be Public
- CA Powers Up $80M HIE to 'Create Value in the Data'
- TJC Warns Hospitals of Deadly Medical Tubing Mistakes
- PA Ranks See 'Phenomenal Growth,' Lack of Diversity
- 3 Traits Personality Assessments Can't Reveal
- The secret committee behind our soaring healthcare costs