Few things are more difficult than asking someone for money, even when they’ve gotten behind on their payments. Health concerns remain the same, even during an economic meltdown that has depleted the savings of many Americans, making it more difficult for them to stay current on payments for their ongoing medical needs. What can your practice do to keep your patients healthy while maintaining your cash position?
Consumers are searching for options that allow them to claw their way back to where they were before the recession. One way they’ve cut costs is to cut corners. When it comes to health insurance, everybody wants to be covered, but the extent of that coverage has been compromised lately. In order to save money, more Americans are choosing health insurance plans that have higher deductibles and higher co-pays. In return they get lower monthly premiums. Unfortunately, many people don’t find out how difficult it is to keep up on their medical bills under these new and cheaper plans until the bills mount up.
Some patients simply don’t understand the insurance/co-pay process, which means your staff has to be armed with not only the right information, but also the training to patiently deal with people who don’t understand and might be a little bit agitated as they find themselves in a bigger hole than they think they deserve. One effective method of communicating with patients is to make it clear that when they elect not to stay current on their co-payments, they are violating their agreement with their insurance group.
Of course, there will be patients who say they can’t pay, regardless of how small the bill might be. They’ll have a variety of reasons, sometimes it’s a simple matter of they forgot their checkbook. To circumvent a situation like this, offer them pre-addressed envelopes that are also stamped. If your medical practice does this, you will likely see a 90-plus percent return rate.
You need to have your payment policies in writing, which is a strategy that many practices use to avoid difficulties with patients. New patients should be required to read the policy and sign it, leaving no doubt that they are knowledgeable about what’s expected of them. Consider a policy that requires a minimum payment for service when they enter the office on their next visit.
At some point, you will want to take action against patients who continually disrespect your staff’s attempts at arranging payments. Your practice cannot thrive if you’re giving away your services to patients who refuse to own up to their responsibilities. One way to take action is to call Omega-RMS.
Partnering with a debt collection professional is what most successful medical practices have done to keep their unpaid debt from becoming unreasonable. Some medical practices will sell their receivables to the debt collector, which gives them the authority to chase down the bad debt but gets you paid immediately.
Companies like Omega-RMS, llc., offer accounts receivable management, early intercept recovery and contingent collection services that allow your staff more time to focus on the welfare of your patients and less about haggling over debt. With Omega RMS on your side, we will respect your patients while working out a repayment plan that will benefit you and them. Call Omega RMS today and see how our services fit with your practice.