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THE FORGOTTEN TREASURE…

PATIENT BALANCES ARE THEY GREATER THAN 60 DAYS?

This is the one area that practices are having the most difficulty, and that is achieving a good rate of return on patient balances. Let’s face facts; it is difficult to call patients and collect money on their accounts. This is understandable because staff members see these patients in the practice regularly.

Today, taking into consideration the drastic changes in health care plans, it is inevitable that a much larger portion of the bill now becomes the responsibility of the patient. Unfortunately, the industry changes have put deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurances at an all time high.

Once a patient balance ages greater than 60 days, the value of that money begins to decline rapidly and your chances of collecting that balance lessens drastically. The money starts to lose its value and the decline begins.

Physicians no longer have the liberty to write off owed balances, and nor should this be taking place. To continually write these off to bad debt without making viable attempts to collect this debt is considered fraud and abuse. The insurance companies feel that if you are going to discount a service you have provided to a patient, then they would prefer you discount it before you send them the claim, so that they can take advantage of that same discount in reimbursing the practice.

When glimpsing at the big picture, this revenue is much too steep, and is an enormous loss for any practice to sustain. No practice/facility can actually afford this type of loss in annual revenue. Physicians need to be profitable in this industry, and without this stream of income, it would be detrimental.

Improving upon your collection efforts with patients is a very sensitive topic. You want to try to do your best in maintaining the physician/patient relationship, and keep them coming back to you. It is your bread and butter, and the very reason your practice/facility is functional today. Offering the best payment choices and good customer service is enough to keep your patients paying their bills.

Do not allow your practice to get caught up in this reimbursement roulette!!! Call or contact Advanced Medical Claim & Collection today for your billing and collection needs.

Posted in: The Pulse

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