The healthcare business is currently experiencing rising copays and deductibles, and successful patient collections are crucial to the financial stability of clinics. Collecting deductibles and copays from patients is a challenging routine, especially when physicians are unsure whether the patient is on deductibles. It suggests that most physicians are losing a significant portion of their profits due to inadequate self-pay collections.
As companies move to higher deductible plans and copays, doctors must review their approach for patient collection; if the dues for a medical treatment delivered to a patient are not collected deductibles at the time of service, then it becomes problematic collecting them afterward.
A practice can either prefer to abandoning the patients and file claims without examining for deductibles. It now depends on how long the procedure takes to apply and how many days the insurance provider needs to answers the application. Ultimately, doctors learn that the bill cannot be covered because the patient is deductible. It seems a bit imprudent to follow this route because the more extended payments are due, the less likely it is to be reimbursed. Here are some methods for collecting deductibles from patients without damaging their relationship with them, other than choosing a trustworthy organization that deals with all the troubles of medical billing.
Patients have deductibles at the start of the year
It’s important to remember that if it’s the beginning of the year, the majority of patients haven’t met their deductible limit. At the beginning of the year, the majority of the insurance plans are renewed. So be extra careful at the year’s beginning; encourage your patients to verify with their insurance companies if they would otherwise pay themselves and share their results with the patients. The patient’s responsibility is to decide how to pay if the insurance company does not cover the bill. If you have experienced people providing front-desk management and medical billing services, this problem will be sorted.
Check with their insurance company before the patient visit
Because some policies allow for preventive treatment, it can be difficult to distinguish which patients have deductibles or copays covered by insurance. It means that your front desk should go above and beyond to check with insurance carriers to ensure that authorized services are available. It may necessitate some additional phone calls, but it is a reliable approach to determine the exact status of the patient’s deductibles.
Inform patients about the expense upfront
It may appear naive, but instruct your front desk to inform people about collecting deductibles upfront payment before they leave. Even practices should disclose it when confirming the appointment to avoid any awkward situations. When patients arrive, check their eligibility and, if there are any deductibles, inform them.
Collect deductibles at the time of service
Make this a rule to ensure your practice’s financial stability. The collection of deductibles during service saves your approach from all the trouble your employees may face later. If, to your surprise, you feel that it is impertinent to request money beforehand. Nearly all patients have very obvious insurance coverage and prefer to keep it silent until you say their status. It is not unholy to tell your patients that the service costs are financially responsible, but the most favorable option that your collections would maximize.
Make a practice-wide policy of deductible collections
Train your employees to express clearly the deductible and copay collection policy. There may be various excuses for patients to delay payment. You could escape your office by claiming you are uncertain, and you’d check with the insurance company. Use automated systems to run the practice to verify patient information in real-time. Today, all the patient information is received in just a few seconds via EHR systems. Your department can stay updated with such a system and indicate an eligibility patient’s specific state.
Make a practice-wide policy of deductible collections
Allow your patients to pay for services in a variety of ways. If your patients have deductibles and don’t have cash, give them the option of paying using their credit card or another digital payment method.
Follow up Deductibles
If, for some reason, your patient quits the office without paying their deductibles. Follow up on the payment by contacting them or providing a reminder through phone calls and patient reports. Unpaid patient deductibles can have a significant influence on the financial stability of your practice. To ensure that your clinic is not losing money, ensure that your front desk staff is well-trained and aware of the organization’s collection policies. It is only achievable if your practice has an efficient billing mechanism and uses it to collect patient deductibles.
Provide payment plans and discounts
Highly deductible and self-paying patients may request you a negotiated, discounted cost. You are flexible with patients who pay cash, in contrast to insurance contracts that mandate doctors to charge a negotiated price. Discuss patients; What would the insurance rate be and then give them a discount if they pay full-service time. Train your employees to arrange for payments. Enter the minimum amount payable at the time of the service and maximum payment time. Make it possible for your staff to develop and implement special payment arrangements if necessary.
Right Medical Billing is an organization dedicated to full-service revenue management and analysis for health care professionals in the United States. Right medical billing offers various medical organizations, provider networks, ambulatory operating centers, hospitals billing, reimbursement, credentialing, and coding. For additional information on how Right Medical Billing can optimize revenue, cut costs and spend more time on healthcare, visit our website www.rightmedicalbilling.com or call us on (281)-864-0448 for your consultation.
Is it legal to collect deductibles upfront?
Yes, it is a good idea to collect upfront for high deductible plans. Depending on the treatment you receive and how much it costs for your deduction, many hospitals will still use the conventional waiting approach to give you a charge until your insurance company has processed your payment after you have completed the procedure. However, hospitals are increasingly asked to pay their deductible – partially or fully – before scheduled medical services are available. That is because of some variables, including increased medical expenditures, increased deductibles, and overall charges.
Can doctors collect deductibles upfront?
Yes. However, it is not a simple yes or no question. You are paying for expenses that you agreed to pay when you selected your specific insurance plan. You can go for a very low deductible with a higher monthly health insurance payment or a very high deductible with a more down monthly payment. However, you are aware of these expenses before entering a doctor’s office.
In the past, many doctors would not collect the money at the time of the visit instead of sending the patient a bill. When the bill arrived, however, an increasing number of patients refused to pay. Collecting a copay or deductible has become expensive or a bit pointless when the patient flatly refuses. People must be aware of the total cost of their insurance then choose wisely according to their situation.
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Written by: Kaynat Ishfaq
Author has been writing from last 4 years in Healthcare and medical billing field.
Revenue Cycle Management Consultant, Medical Billing & AR Audit, Free Standing Emergency Rooms, Micro Hospitals, Compliance, OON Negotiations, Digital Marketing
deductible collections, patient collection, patient billing, medical billing, medical billing and coding, revenue cycle management, accounts receivable recovery, free-standing er billing, free-standing emergency room, out of network negotiations, prior authorizations