In this article, you will learn:
How high-deductible health insurance plans increase patient receivables
The impact of patient pay receivables on physician practices
Steps to take that will improve your patient collections
The Problem: Increased Patient Receivables
More employers are shifting the cost burden of healthcare insurance to their employees through implementation of high-deductible plans. These high-deductible plans mean patients are responsible for higher out-of-pocket costs. In 2017, almost half of privately insured Americans under age 65 had annual deductibles ranging from $1,300 to $6,550.
The Impact: More Bad Debt and More Staff Time
The higher deductibles contribute to the increasing amount of unpaid medical bills, which puts pressure on practices' bottom lines. High-deductible plans also contribute to increased staff time spent contacting the insurance companies to confirm beneficiaries' remaining deductible and following up with patients to collect their portion of the bill. In a recent study, the estimated costs of billing and insurance-related activities in a large academic health care system represented 3% to 25% of professional revenue. According to the InstaMed 2016 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report, it costs four times as much to collect from a patient than it does from an insurance company, so implementing steps to improve your patient collections program is well worth it.
The Solution: People, Systems, and Performance Metrics
To be prepared for more patient pay receivables and their collection challenges, your practice must do the following:
Hire the right people to speak with patients and clarify your communication with patients. Whoever is tasked with collections communications with patients must be knowledgeable about your payment policies and able to clearly explain them. Patience, compassion, and confidence are desirable traits in an effective account specialist.
Simplify your receivables processes. Do not place technological barriers and unnecessary layers of phone navigation between your patients and their accounts' resolution. Providing multiple methods for patients to make payments increases the likelihood that they will do so.
Track your metrics and data, so you can constantly improve and respond promptly when issues arise. Use a monthly or quarterly set of comparative metrics to monitor performance and recognize trends. One benchmark that is important to track is days in accounts receivable, which calculates the average number of days it takes your practice to collect payments due.
If you would like to supplement your current receivables process with a patient-friendly follow-up plan, trust the experts and contact Tavelli Co., Inc.
Tavelli Co., Inc. has over 37 years of unparalleled experience in the debt collection and receivables management industry. Our mission is to achieve the right balance between getting clients paid and being empathetic to debtor circumstances, through implementing innovative practices, hiring experienced people, and improving business decisions through analytics. We provide peace of mind to all involved by collecting money with no complaints. Tavelli Co., Inc. takes the time to carefully listen to your customers and share their feedback with you through meaningful data and transparent communication, so you have access to the information you need to make quality decisions and improve your processes in the future. Contact us today and let the debt collection experts at Tavelli Co., Inc. help you set your business up for success.
IMPORTANT: Information provided by Tavelli Co., Inc., any employees of Tavelli Co., Inc., or its subsidiaries is not intended as legal advice and may not be used as legal advice. It is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area, nor should it be used to replace the advice of your own legal counsel.