Proper collections practices don’t start and end with correct billing and coding— they begin with well-trained staff members and patients that have clear expectations and a thorough understanding of your practice’s policies. Here are some simple and cost-effective ways to ensure consistent, comprehensive practices for medical billing, coding, and collecting at your office: In-network providers have promised and signed a contract to collect co-pays& deductibles at the time of the visit.  All patients have to sign a truth and lending and all deductions must be listed on the claim form.  Out of network providers also have to follow a lending law which gives you the ability to give a credit to a patient must have a written financial policy.  Billing and Coding are watched over by the Federal Government, The state laws, and the banking laws.

  1. At the Front Desk
  • Ensure patients understand and accept, in writing, responsibility for covering what insurance does not
  • Each visit, have patients sign your practice’s financial policy; If this is too tedious, consider posting a sign stating patient financial obligations
  • Patients who understand their role are less likely to assume their insurance provider is making mistakes that they, the patient, bear no responsibility for.
  • Collect co-pays immediately and ensure staff know what to do when a patient did not bring payment; Instead of re-booking and potentially losing a lucrative appointment altogether, smile, tell them you understand, and give them a have them sign a sheet allowing you to collect by credit card over the phone, or a direct deposit to your account, last but least effective  pre-addressed envelope that they can place a check in and mail off when they get home.
  1. Via Statements
  • Make sure the practice’s phone number is prominent on all patient bills— if you are easy to contact, patients will be less likely to put off making a payment or plans for installments
  • Include a specific due date, OR
  • Make it clear that you expect to be paid promptly and in full; include the message “Payment is due upon receipt” which is clear and to the point
  • If a patient calls in with questions regarding the insurance provider’s decisions, take the time to go over the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) with them; it is often confusing, putting patients off from paying in a timely manner

It is also important to have a plan in place for handling unpaid balances, such as when/if you send them to collections and how the patient will be treated if they make an appointment for another visit.

Christine Taxin
36 Abington Avenue
Ardsley New York 10502
United States of America