Debt collection isn’t a popular discussion topic, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a crucial part of making a profit in the healthcare industry. As patient-provider relationships are designed to be secure, confidential, and caring, it can be difficult for healthcare providers to collect with the appropriate amount of care to maintain these relationships. Approaching debt collection in healthcare with the right mindset and attitude can prove most effective for your business’s bottom line and your patients’ satisfaction.
Here are 3 things to know about debt collection in healthcare to ease the pain of the process.
1. Be clear about your payment policies from the very beginning.
Like most debt from services rendered, overdue medical bills and outstanding accounts are often forgotten and left to the wayside after a patient fully recovers and feels better. However, regularly communicating clear and consistent policies about medical payments increases the likelihood that your patients will prioritize paying off their medical debt in addition to other outstanding balances that may be more top of mind like credit card debt, mortgage loans, auto payments, school loans, etc. Being very clear about payment obligations that patients have will minimize the amount of confusion and pushback that you may receive down the road if policies are unknown or misunderstood.
2. Pay the premium for a medical debt collection agency versed in dealing with patients who have outstanding highly sensitive healthcare costs.
It may be tempting to handle the collection process yourself, simply write off unpaid debt, or hire any lawyer or general collection agency to resolve your outstanding accounts. But it’s in your best interest to hire a medical debt collection agency that has experience working respectfully with your patients. Maintaining a caring patient-provider relationship with your patients that have medical debt is absolutely essential to encourage them to return to your practice or hospital and make their best efforts to resolve their payments. You may need to pay a premium for a medical debt collection agency that has the expertise and training to handle the sensitive debt collection process in a way that maintains the integrity of your patient-provider relationships. But trust us, it’s worth it.
3. Hire a collection agency with healthcare experience and flexible services.
Enlisting the help of a professional medical debt collection agency with the ability to conduct first-party and third-party collections, as well as multiple billing solutions, increases the efficiency of your collection and maximizes recovery. First-party collections have a high chance of receiving collections quickly and include the agency speaking on behalf of your healthcare company in a professional, empathetic manner. Third-party collections consist of collecting the outstanding balances that are far overdue and need to be taken care of with more sensitivity and understanding. Hiring an agency that knows how to do both and can also provide your patients with flexible billing solutions can improve the accuracy of your medical debt numbers. This can make the process more efficient and increase the likelihood of maximizing your return.
Are you looking to maintain your patient-provider relationships while maximizing the return on your outstanding accounts? Frost Arnett offers extensive, caring services to healthcare providers who need professional assistance resolving their outstanding accounts. Give us a call at 1 (855) 287-7043 to learn more about how we can help you do this.