University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) reported $212 million in bad debts for the fiscal year 2014. The numbers are not deniable – the reason for bad debt is higher deductibles. While choosing their medical insurance plan, most people tend to choose the plan with the least annual premium, what they fail to realize is lower premium means higher deductible. Result – Increasing number of bad debts. In such cases, there are a few things that one can do to try and minimize the risk of bad debts.
Insurance Eligibility Check
There are electronic tools available in the market which can help you check the patients’ eligibility within seconds. Prior verification of eligibility will help providers and patients understand what their out of pocket expenses could be.
Prior Information to the Patients
Once checked, talk to the patient about the estimated cost that he/she will have to pay for the treatment. Also, let the patient know that there could be some additional unexpected costs that may or may not occur. Once the patient approves the cost, the treatment can proceed. This also enables the patient to know whether there are any problems with the insurance policy that need to be fixed.
Convince the patient that his/her end of the payments will need to be made while the service is provided to him/her. Once the patient leaves your premises the probability for bad debt increases, which can be resolved only through a legal process.
Offering a payment plan will ease the patient’s liability. Request the partial payment from the patient, depending on the estimate that you made earlier looking at his insurance status.
Train the front desk staff to be as polite or rigid depending on the demand of the situation. It’s finally they who deal with such issues. Having active and spontaneous people at the front desk will help reduce issues.
Taking external help for resolving patient payment related issues can turn out to be the best way forward. MedConverge offers one of the best help desks and patient web portal. For more details, contact us (800) 898-0709 or [email protected]