Taking Steps to Improve Time-of-Service Collections

When your accounts receivable staff is spending too much time on the back end collecting money that should have been paid up-front, it is time to consider looking into revenue cycle management training. Receiving money from patients at, or before, the time of service is the most effective way to ensure co-pays, co-insurances and other visit fees are collected in full, while making the most efficient use of staff resources.

If you find that multiple small figure claims are being written off in cases where a patient has received services several times and has never paid, you may want to re-evaluate the check-out procedure and make sure that the front-desk staff reviews patient payment history before the time of service. Although it sometimes is not worth the effort to keep after smaller sums, it can add up and create a dent in your practice’s revenue cycle.

The first step to ensure co-pay and visit fees are collected at the time of service is to make sure that your employees understand your practice’s collections policy. Unless physicians and practice managers stress the seriousness of receiving patient payments before services are rendered, staff members will not feel the necessity to do so. This is why an important part of an effective revenue cycle management training plan is making sure that employees understand the urgency of time-of-service collections. Try to implement a procedure for front desk employees to work it into their routine.

Patients also need to be made aware of changing policies, either at the start of the revenue cycle (when they schedule their appointment) or at the time of service. This is especially important in cases where patients have gotten used to being billed after the services have been rendered. Providing patients with a copy of your updated financial policy and making it available on your company’s website are good ways to reinforce new procedures.

To learn more about time-of-service collections and revenue cycle management training resources, click here.

 

This information is not to be construed as legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Although we attempt to provide up-to-date information, laws and regulations often change. We make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of this document.For legal advice, please consult an attorney.
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