Only medical practitioners know how challenging it is to manage and run the revenue management cycle successfully. The major part which hinders the revenue growth is collecting copays and deductibles from patients. But many times when physicians don’t know exactly about its collection they often found asking can doctors collect deductibles up front. And due to the lack of information, they lose a great amount in collectibles.
It means that most physicians are losing a major share of their earnings due to low collections from the patients on self-pay. As the employers are moving to higher deductible plans and copays, it’s time for physicians to reconsider their patient collections strategy. If the fees for a medical treatment provided to a patient are not collected right after, it becomes difficult to collect it afterward.
A practice can either choose to let go of the patients and file claims without checking for deductibles. It now depends on how much time the practice takes to submit the claim plus how many days the insurance company responds to the request. In the end, physicians come to know that the bill cannot be reimbursed because the patient is on deductibles. It looks a bit unwise to take this path because the longer payment is due the lesser the chances of getting it repaid. Here are a few tips to collect from the patients on deductibles and doing it without spoiling your relationship with them apart from hiring a reliable company that deals with all the hassles of medical billing services for you.
Patients are on deductibles at the beginning of the year
Know that if it is the beginning of the year, it is the time when most of the patients have not reached their deductible limit. The majority of the insurance plans are renewed at the beginning of the year. So, be more vigilant at the beginning of the year, and ask your patients if they would self-pay otherwise check with their insurance company and share the findings with the patients. Plainly it is the responsibility of the patient to decide how to pay if the insurance company is not covering the bill. This problem can easily be sorted out if you have experienced staff providing your front-desk management and medical billing services.
Check with the insurance company before the patient visit
It becomes difficult to differentiate which patient is on deductible or co-pay and who is covered by the insurance because some policies authorize preventive care. It means your front desk should go an extra mile to check with the insurance companies to check for the authorized services. It may require some extra phone calls but it is a sure way to get exact status of the patient deductibles.
Tell patients upfront about the cost
It may look naive but train your front desk to tell the patients with high deductibles about the cost of the medical treatment that they would be paying before leaving. Even practices should communicate it when they are confirming the visit and stay safe from any inappropriate situation. On patient arrival, verify their eligibility and if there are deductibles, share the details with the patients. A patient may also ask ‘do I have to pay deductible for doctor visits, your staff should be well trained in satisfying patients.
Can doctors Collect Deductibles Upfront
When looking for answers about ‘can a provider collects deductible upfront’,. Make this tip a rule to ensure the financial health of your practice. Collecting the deductibles at the time of service will save your practice from all the hassle that your staff would undergo later. If you think it’s impertinent to ask for payments up front, to your surprise it’s not. Almost all the patients are very much clear about their insurance coverage they are clear about ambiguities like do you have to pay health insurance deductible up front and they want to keep it muffled until you tell them the status. Telling your patients about the financial responsibility of the cost of the service is not impolite rather it is the sanest thing that would maximize your collections.
Make a practice-wide policy of deductible collections
Train your staff to communicate clearly the organizational policy about deductibles and copay. Patients can come up with many excuses to delay the payment. They might elude your front office by saying that they are not sure and would check with the insurance company. Equip your practice with automated practice management tools, capable of real-time checking patients’ data. Today, EHR systems are capable of getting all the patient information in a few seconds. Using such a system, your office can stay updated and can tell the exact status of a patient’s eligibility.
Make payments convenient
Give your patients multiple options to pay for the services upfront. If patients are on deductibles and cash is not available, offer them the convenience of paying with their credit card or any other mode of digital payment.
Follow up deductibles
If still by any chance your patient leaves the practice without paying deductibles. Follow up for the payment by calling them or sending the reminder through phone call and patient statement. Unpaid patient deductibles can seriously impact the financial health of your practice. To make sure that your practice is not losing earnings, make sure that your front desk staff is well trained and familiar with the organizational policy of collections. It is only possible if an effective billing process is in place and your practice is efficiently utilizing it for collecting patient deductibles.
Don’t stress yourself by thinking ‘Is it legal to collect deductibles upfront’ or can a provider collect deductibles up front. You must not want to put your practice in trouble and destroy the financial health of your practice. This is why collecting copays and deductibles from patients is necessary for running your revenue management cycle successfully. And processing the efficient utilization of resources timely.