Point-of-service collections are a vital aspect of healthcare revenue cycles, and healthcare providers need to employ the right strategies to ensure they collect payments from patients efficiently. With the rise in high deductible health plans, providers are experiencing a significant shift in patient payments, making it essential to implement effective point-of-service collections strategies.
This article highlights some of the best practices and strategies healthcare providers can use to boost their point-of-service collections.
Confirm Patient Insurance and Eligibility
Before providing services, healthcare providers must confirm the patient's insurance coverage and eligibility. Providers should check with the patient's insurance carrier to determine the patient's copay, deductible, and coinsurance amount. By knowing the patient's financial responsibility before providing services, providers can communicate effectively with patients regarding their payment responsibilities and increase the chances of collecting payments at the point of service.
Effective communication with patients regarding their financial obligations can increase the chances of collecting payments at the point of service. Providers should educate patients on their insurance policies, coverage, and financial responsibilities before providing services. Clear communication and transparency regarding the cost of services can help patients understand their financial obligations and increase the likelihood of payments being made.
Healthcare providers need to ensure that their staff is well trained in collecting payments at the point of service. Staff should be knowledgeable about insurance policies and coverage, and they should be trained in how to communicate effectively with patients regarding their financial obligations. By training staff, providers can improve the efficiency of the point-of-service collection process and increase the likelihood of collecting payments.
Healthcare providers can use technology to improve the point-of-service collection process. Technology such as patient portals, electronic billing, and payment systems can make it easier for patients to make payments and can streamline the collection process for providers. Patient portals can allow patients to view their bills, make payments, and set up payment plans, making it more convenient for patients to make payments. Electronic billing and payment systems can automate the billing and payment process, reducing errors and improving the speed of payments.
Offer Payment Plans
Providers should offer payment plans to patients who cannot afford to pay their bills in full at the point of service. Payment plans can help patients spread their payments over an extended period, making it easier for them to manage their finances. Offering payment plans can also increase the likelihood of payments being made and reduce the number of outstanding balances.
Train Front Desk Staff
Front desk staff are the first point of contact for patients, and they play a critical role in the point-of-service collection process. Healthcare providers should train front desk staff in effective communication, insurance policies, and coverage, and payment collection techniques. By training front desk staff, providers can improve the efficiency of the collection process and increase the likelihood of payments being made.
Scripts can be helpful in communicating with patients regarding their financial obligations. Providers can develop scripts for front desk staff to use when communicating with patients about their payments. Scripts can help ensure that staff are providing accurate information and can improve the consistency of communication with patients.
Monitor Collection Performance
Healthcare providers should monitor their point-of-service collection performance regularly. Providers should track the number of payments collected at the point of service, outstanding balances, and the overall success rate of the collection process. By monitoring performance, providers can identify areas for improvement and make changes to improve the efficiency of the collection process.
Follow Up with Patients
Providers should follow up with patients who have outstanding balances to remind them of their financial obligations. Providers can use technology such as automated reminders and phone calls to contact patients who have not made payments. By following up with patients, providers can increase cashflow, most definitely.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ms. Pinky Maniri-Pescasio is the Founder of GoHealthcare Consulting. She is a National Speaker on Practice Reimbursement and a Physician Advocate. She has served the Medical Practice Industry for more than 25 years as a Professional Medical Practice Consultant.