Issues in Medical Bill Payment Collection
Outstanding bills of patients who have not acquired insurance cover poses challenges to medical practices everywhere. In such cases, physicians need to go for other collection methods such as electronic funds transfer or online portals for payment. With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements making organizations to change their employees’ health care plans, there has been massive shift in the health insurance scenario. Individuals find large deductibles related to insurance a high hurdle.
Hardships on the part of Insured Individuals
The amount of insurance deductible has risen during the recent years whereas the rate of increase in wages is not in line with such appreciation. Health Care coverage has increased as well, making it tough for employees.
Impact on Physicians
While insurance companies try to rein in their costs through high deductible plans, private physician clinics will face challenges due to the rise. Nearly 30% of patients’ fee payable goes unpaid, according to research.
The collection of 25% of the collection is normally with the medical practices. According to surveys, it has been found that collection of dues from patients forms one of the important tasks for physicians. Along with high deductibles and high premiums needed to be self-paid, this is further expected to grow.
The chances of collecting payment fall to 70% after three months and 50% beyond six months. Debts more than one year old happen to have only a 25% chance to be collected at all.
Solutions to Payment Collection Issue
Providers need to extend more payment options to patients. Collection can be improved by offering broader options for payment. Having detailed discussion in advance with patients about cost of any procedure or service and what would probably be the out-of-packet costs for them is one good practice suggested for physicians. Delivering estimated bill to patients enables them to make arrangements for facing payment as well.
Switching to non-paper checks goes a long way in easing the payment-related issues. Electronics age has facilitated several convenient and quick ways to prepare and deliver bills with accuracy and in-depth details. One such mode is devising payment portals online.
Ensuring the possibility of making payment by logging on to websites and using credit cards for payment considerably improves collection process. Patients must be offered possibility of making their payment anytime of the day. Practices may do well by empowering patients to choose their preferred online methods for making payment. Quick and comfortable options for paying online will assure that individuals treat the payment process without aversion.
It is generally prudent to consider various alternative options for payment that enable patients to feel comfortable in paying. Physicians need to follow this in order to reduce their collection-related issues while ensuring prompt payment by their patients.