The success of your practice’s medical accounts receivable doesn’t just depend on how well your employees do their jobs, especially if patients refuse to pay due to misunderstandings over insurance coverage or financial responsibility. This can be avoided, however, by helping patients understand insurance basics, as well as what their role is in the healthcare revenue cycle process. Here are a few ways that healthcare professionals can make that happen.
Provide patients with an up-to-date financial policy. This is the first step to helping patients understand what their financial obligation is when receiving services at your practice. After all, informed patients are less likely to be surprised about out-of-pocket expenses and more likely to pay what they owe. A few important things to include in the policy include information about time-of-service payment, patient responsibility, and accepted health insurances. In order to make this information readily available to patients we suggest:
- Posting the policy on your practice’s website
- Informing patients of the policy when scheduling an appointment
- Requiring patients to verify that they have read the policy before services are rendered
Be prepared to answer questions about insurance eligibility and coverage. Your staff is not responsible for explaining insurance coverage to patients; however, that doesn’t mean that patients will refrain from asking about it. One way to help patients understand insurance and healthcare revenue cycle basics, without taking up too much of your employees’ time, is by putting together a one-page document with commonly used terms, such as: coordination of benefits, co-payment, deductible, and allowance. You can make this information available on your website and online patient portal, and have paper copies available to give to patients upon request.
Have you tried other tactics that have benefited your practice’s medical accounts receivable? Share them with us.