Missing Piece Blog

Tips for Improving Patient Collections

It is the beginning of the year and typically that means your patients are accumulating deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.  That means it’s the perfect time to improve your patient collections! Here are a few easy things to do:  

  • Educate– Letting families know in advance what their expected costs may be.  This practice allows patients to better plan for those expenses.  Communicate clearly, early, and often.  Document expectations in writing with acknowledgement from the responsible party wherever possible.    
  • Communicate– Make sure patients and their families can easily access their statements.  Communicating patient balances the way patients want to access this information is key.  Ask the patient’s responsible party how they want to receive this information.  Email and text notification are becoming more and more common and are a less expensive means of communicating patient statements.  Many EMR systems are now offer this secure alternative, deploying an opt-in system for patients to consent to electronic statements. 
  • Provide Clarity- Providing patient statements that are easy to understand, clear, and timely is an important piece of the process.  Statements should be clear on what was paid by insurance and what the remaining balance due.  Use of different fonts, colors, or design features make the statements more reader friendly.  Additionally, sending patient statements as quickly as possible from the date of service keeps the charges fresh in the patient’s mind. 
  • Prioritize Accessibility- Gone are the days where patients mail a perforated stub and check to the office.  Now, patients want to pay by personal credit card, health savings (HSA), or flex spending accounts (FSA).  Increasing accessibility to either phone or online payment systems will improve collections.  It is critically important to ensure that systems and processes are HIPAA and PCI compliant. 
  • Offer Convenience– Many patients receiving long term or intensive treatment reach their insurance out of pocket maximums or incur significant co-payments. Paying this balance in full immediately may be impossible for the responsible party.  Providers can offer flexible payment plans to accommodate patient needs.  Automatic recurring payments are ideal to minimize necessary action on behalf of the patient’s responsible party. 

For many ABA and behavioral health providers, managing patient statements and balances seems insensitive to the families that may be experiencing extreme hardships already, or the time and technology required may be burdensome.  However, contracts with the insurance companies outline the legal obligation of providers to attempt to collect patient balances. 

Missing Piece Billing and Consulting is experienced in managing patient collections.  We customize our solution to the organization’s unique needs and can offer a wide range of options to help optimize collections, including electronic statements and payments.  Let Missing Piece handle your insurance billing and patient statements, so you can focus on taking care of your patients. 

To learn more, contact us today at 765-628-7400 or weare@yourmissingpiece.com.