When you decide to invest in software to automate your medical billing, it is usually because it makes financial sense and helps to smooth out office operations. Whether or not your office uses this kind of software, it’s important that your patients are billed promptly and correctly. Yet even when every effort has been made to bill on time and communicate payment expectations clearly, some accounts languish.
Slow and Stagnant Accounts
Some patients are slow to pay and others never make payment. It is important that your office staff understands how to deal with these accounts since persistent and polite contact can help to keep the amount of unpaid debt your offices carries to a minimum. On the other hand, there is a reasonable point at which your staff should be redirected toward more immediate patient activity. That is the time to engage a reputable debt collection service.
A Better Approach
Hiring a debt collection service is not a hard-nosed move on the part of the doctor, rather it is a sound business practice much like hiring qualified staff or utilizing medical software. This is another way to keep the office fiscally strong and on solid financial footing.
Put a Policy in Place
Since making the decision to outsource to a third party can be difficult it’s wisest to have a standard policy on the matter. Most experts agree that 90 days is the dividing line between when your staff is likely to collect on delinquent accounts and when it is time to bring in outside help.
Your billing staff should be trained to spend the first 90 days making repeated contact with patients to remind them of their unpaid bill. Your staff should know how to balance cordiality with professional expectations during each contact. Keep in mind that every 30 days that the account continues unpaid, its value drops as much as 15 percent. After three months, statistics show that your chances of collecting begin to drop precipitously.
It’s About Confidence
When you’ve reached that watermark and it’s time to choose a third party debt collection service it can be hard to know whom to trust. It will require a bit of questioning on your end, but the peace of mind knowing you have the right partner is worth the effort.
Look for a company that understands the importance of patient retention. You want to close the debt gap, but you’d like to hold onto your patients at the same time. If you choose a service with proper licensure this is one sign that they will comply with the highest standards of professionalism and makes it more likely that patients will not leave as a result.
Ask the company how much experience they have working with medical practices. Ask about credentials. Ask how they plan to pursue your delinquent accounts in a way that is consistent with your valuable community reputation.
Turning to a third party for help collecting on delinquent accounts can be a tough decision. But, in fact, it is just one of many business decisions you make in your office all the time. With a little investigating on your part, you can feel confident that you’ve found a partner that will prove to be an asset to your medical practice. Omega-RMS has years of experience helping medical practices just like yours recover on languishing accounts. Give us a call today to see how we can get you started on the right path.