Collecting out-of-pocket payments in one of the greatest challenges hospitals and practices experience today. A 2010 study reports that approximately 10 percent of practitioner revenues were directly from patients in that year and about 58 percent of all bad debts came from outstanding patient accounts. As out-of-pocket payment is increasingly becoming a large portion of practitioner revenue having the right plan for addressing collections on patient accounts is important to ensuring patient satisfaction and retention. Here are three keys to successfully collecting more from patients without hurting satisfaction:

  1. 1.       Be up-front about what patients owe. Providers need to alter their billing processes so it more closely resembles consumers’ retail transactions. This concept helps the patient to not avoid payment or neglect an account balance. Investing in an effective patient estimation tool allows more accurate calculations of patient services helping both the patient and provider keep better track of funds owed.
  2. 2.       Collect as soon as possible. Many patients are willing to pay their bills sooner than they currently are. Practitioners provide patients with an accurate estimate of their financial responsibility would help eliminate outstanding balances. Setting up a payment plan in advance can also help to collect payment sooner as well as make the billing process less expensive for providers.
  3. 3.       Improve practice workflow. It is important for providers to know how to use their patient information as it can help in effectively altering workflow and processes. Train front-line staff to be effective billing agents and communicators. Take advantage of every patient-provider interaction to provide helpful reminders and exceptional customer care.

Read more at: http://www.physicianspractice.com/sponsored-resources/collect-more-patients-without-hurting-satisfaction

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