Five Easy Tips to Maximize Revenue from Patient Collections

Patient collections

Physicians from different medical specialties all have one complaint – patient collections are difficult to manage and they seldom get paid. This is a common problem that results in lost income for all kinds of medical practices, small and big. Here are five easy tips to maximize revenue from patient collections:

  1. Enforce a consistent collections policy.

Identify a payment policy that works and make sure you enforce it. For instance, you may choose to send two statements of outstanding dues, followed by a final 15-day notice. This policy works for the majority of patients who will either pay what is owed to you or ask about a payment plan. Either way, it is better than jumping through the hoops of the collection process.

  1.  Add administrative costs to collections.

If a patient fails to respond and you are forced to put them in collections, you are permitted to add an administrative fee to the total outstanding amount. If you practice in-house billing, you should estimate the cost of reviewing the account, sending notices, and following up. If you outsource to a third-party billing company, you should include the fee they charge for collections.

  1.  Track accounts in collections.

Don’t give in to the temptation of forgetting about accounts that are in collection. Even if a third-party billing agency is following up on collections, you still need to keep an eagle eye on these accounts. For example, you may find that your billing company is willfully allowing accounts to extend beyond the 120-day category. This allows them to make aggressive demands for payment and collect a higher percentage as commission.

  1.  Reconcile practice and collection agency accounts.

Sometimes patients who are in collections will go ahead and pay the outstanding amount directly to your practice instead of to the collection agency. If you don’t reconcile your practice accounts with those of the collection agency, you’ll end up with mismatched systems. Not to mention resentful patients who receive unnecessary phone calls, leading them to doubt the integrity of your billing practices.

  1.  Save a template for all debt paid.

Patients will often request an “all debt paid” letter from your practice to send to credit reporting agencies, banks, and potential employers. By saving a template letter in which you simply fill in specific patient information, you will save both time and botheration. A sample template letter is: “<Patient name> has paid in full the amount of <$> and has no outstanding balance with our practice on <date>. For any questions about this debt, please do not hesitate to call our accounts receivable office on <phone number>.”

Managing patient collections can be laborious, frustrating, and expensive. A solid payment and collections procedure and these easily implemented tips should keep you on track and get you paid what you’re owed.


Contact us to find out how we can help get your patient collections paid.

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