As health insurance premiums keep growing (with an average annual rate of 7.1 percent [AHIP 2010]), employers are switching to reduce cost, high-deductible health plans. This trend is leading to an overall decrease in payor payments along with a consequent boost in patient payments. This may continue through the entire next decade because the Affordable Care Act rolls out. Because of this, billing services along with their clients are more dependent on patients for revenue. To accumulate more from patients, many billing services started to use patient-centered strategies, including payment plans. However, to enhance results and increase efficiency for his or her clients, billing services need to make sure that they have implemented best practices for Medi Cal Eligibility Check.
Data from your 2011 “Trends in Healthcare Payments” report demonstrates that using payment plans for healthcare payments has doubled since 2009.1 Inside the same report, 63 percent of surveyed patients stated that they would utilize payment plans for healthcare bills if because of the option.
Many billing services support payment plans manually by managing a calendar that shows when each payment is owed and through calling patients to gather on a monthly basis. This process is really a element of the correct direction, however it increases the billing service’s work effort, will not ensure payment for that client, and contains security flaws. Whether the payment plan is to establish while the patient is incorporated in the office or after having a statement is sent, billing services as well as their clients should securely collect and store payment information to allow them to automatically collect payments if they are due.
Even when a patient authorizes automated monthly payments, they may still overlook the payment until it turns up on the next statement, which may create confusion and costly chargebacks. Improve communication and offer payment transparency by automating email notifications to patients just before each payment transaction. It is ideal for billing services to give patients some flexibility and choice in how much they pay monthly, but it is also necessary which they set parameters and stick to them. As being a standard best practice, billing services should charge a minimum monthly payment of $100 or require the bill be paid completely within 12 months.
Payment plans work effectively for patients who are unable to pay the full bill at once, but billing services should avoid allowing payment plans to become means for patients to place off paying in any way. Create a policy that patients must pay a specific portion of the bill upon establishing a monthly payment plan. Tailor Payment Intends to Patient Needs. Depending on the scenario, you will find three main types of payment wants to offer patients:
Installment: Collect payments against a superb balance and deactivate the master plan automatically if the total balance pays.
Recurring: Collect payments in a regular, ongoing interval as a subscription service. Save money on File: Save a patient’s payment card on file to accumulate the other amount owed if the claim is adjudicated. This can be useful uqgjld the patient’s payment responsibility is unknown during the patient visit; as an example, if the patient includes a high deductible.
By simply following best practices when offering patient payment plans, billing services can ensure payment for their clients, even from self-pay or high-deductible patients. Automated, scheduled payment plans save billing services lots of time and costs to send out multiple patient statements making follow-up calls to patients as well as improve patient communication and clarity round the payment process.