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6 Strategies for Lowering Bad-Debt Exposure

Jeff Elliott for HealthLeaders Media, September 7, 2010
  1. Segment patients by financial risk to determine their likelihood of covering their portion of the medical bill. With demographic and financial information provided by the patient, a hospital can decide how much and what type of collections effort to apply to individual patients.
  2. Implement sophisticated insurance eligibility verification tools and processes to validate patient and service eligibility in real-time. "While may not help improve total reimbursements, it can help speed the time that you receive your cash," according to Colton.
  3. Establish financing arrangements with a patient such as a basic payment plan that helps a patient see how they can settle their bill in a reasonable timeframe.
  4. Discount prices for self-pay patients. A good-will gesture of sorts, this will drive near term-revenue as well as create an incentive for the patient to return to your organization when future medical attention is needed.
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