For decades I have been espousing the virtues of correct accounting methods to our customers. Many offices, with no real training in accounting, have created some real messes for themselves and unknowingly hindered the very collection goals they sought to improve. Central to the efficacy of good collection policy is eliminating confusion. Studies (by MGMA) and others show that 71% of patients will pay their bill right away IF THE BILL MATCHES THE EOB that they received in the mail from their insurance carrier. Yet most offices I encounter have no idea how important this is. I have had many discussions with well intentioned office staff who don’t follow these time tested methods. It is critically important to match the EOB and if your office engages in creating accounting methods that don’t follow any generally accepted principles you can expect to experience more problems as higher deductibles and patient copay and coinsurance payments take up a great percentage of your collections.
Here are some tips to help the collection process be more successful:
- Follow the coordination of benefits information from the carrier team collaboration tools. Or put another way – don’t take CO-45 write-offs before the carriers does. Why? Because your statement won’t match the EOB and the patient will likely not pay without a lengthy phone consult (see above.)
- Provide a clear explanation of the patient responsibility on a patient’s account. AS/PC Complete PM offers a one click explanation that can be emailed or traditionally mailed to the patient. This single feature eliminates a lot of confusion.
- Provide many ways to accept payment such as check, check by phone, credit cards, debit cards, Paypal etc.
- Send your statements right away – not on some arbitrary monthly cycle. 30 days could pass before the statement ever leaves your office.
- Collect ONLY what the carrier benefit statement shows that you should collect. Again, clarity is the goal. How do you know what to collect? Use AS/PC Complete’s Real Time Verification feature to instantly check on a patient’s coverage. Get off of the phone and use tools designed for 2016.
- Make your policies clear before the patient is seen. Far too many doctors think that they are doing their patient a favor by not being clear up front.
DBC is currently working on new innovative features to assist with the collection process so stay tuned.
If you would like to see these features in action, a free online demo is available by appointment.
DB Consultants, Inc.,