Cash Crunch Signals Collection Overhaul
Are your accounts receivables aging past the date of remembering who the patient was and why this happened?
Where is the money? Why haven’t they paid? What are you doing about it ? Questions asked to the Office Manager.
The monthly bills ever present to remind you of being in the red but the accounts receivable total is just what you need to wipe them out. The Business Coordinator or the Office Manager tell you a long, sad story on each and every patient that owes you money. It is a tear jerker for sure.
Where is the plan of action to collect the money owed to you?
We are sending statements and I have called on some of them. I can’t reach them and sometimes I just don’t have time to call or the privacy to call when seeing patients at the same time. Some of the insurance claims are still out and I am getting denials.
A clearly defined and communicated payment policy will help avoid many but not all collection situations. Sometimes the patient relies on the relationship they have with you and the Office Manager to make late payments or no payments at all. This is unfair because as healthcare providers we understand the need for treatment better than the patient does and usually feel it is worth the financial investment.
Communicating to the patient that payment is expected and in what form is important from the beginning of the relationship. When there is noncompliance, follow-up systematically is important.
This is where most offices fail. The time to call or to follow-up with written letters is limited and sporadic at best.
Collection tactics must pass the state’s department of finance for any clarification on the collection laws. These laws affect when you can call, how often you can call, where you can call and what you can and cannot say personally or by message to a third party or answering machine.
It is proven that a third party outside of the office can be a motivator because the message is not coming from the Office Manager. A professional billing company concentrates on making systematic follow-up and knows the rules of the trade.