In terms of collecting various amounts of copays from patients, there are many medical practices all across the United States who end up getting essentially caught in the crosshairs, which is something that unfortunately happens on a daily basis. This is because legally, they are required by all sorts of insurance payers to collect cost-sharing amounts; however, on the other hand, patients typically find themselves faced with medical bills that are both unexpected and unprecedented.
Here are four patient collection mistakes that should always be avoided no matter what.
Perhaps one of the biggest patient collection mistakes that should always be avoided involves what a large number of practices tend to do – calling a patient every month once a payment plan is set up with them in the event that they are unable to pay the full amount of what they owe for their visit. Typically, this is done in order to obtain credit card information so that a payment can be processed for that specific month in order to pay money that’s owed on a bill. Oftentimes, this is considered to be nothing but a mere waste of time, despite the fact that your practice is doing its best to personally connect with the patient themselves.
Another one of the biggest patient collection mistakes that virtually any practice can make is telling a patient that they will send them a bill after their insurance pays their portion of it. No matter what, the patient always has the right to know what they should expect, meaning that if they are not expecting to pay the full amount of the bill during their visit to the practice, they may end up getting surprised at just how much they may really end up having to pay as part of what they owe for their portion of the bill for their visit to your practice.
One other big patient collection mistake that can always be made by any practice is the staff themselves never knowing exactly what they should say to the patient when the time comes. If the time ever comes when you want to be more upfront when it comes to requesting either some form of payment or some type of commitment to making a payment, it’s always extremely important to make sure that the staff is aware of exactly what they need to say to the patient. Furthermore, no apologies should ever be made to the patients regarding a mistake such as this.
Another one of the biggest patient collection mistakes that any practice can make involves copays. More specifically, it involves not collecting copays upfront after a patient arrives to check in for their appointment. Failing to complete this important step can and often will result in the possibility that you will miss getting it at the end of the visit. Furthermore, this will end up resulting in your practice getting absolutely no money for that particular patient’s visit at all, meaning you will end up losing money instead of making money.
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