Running a medical clinic takes not only the medical know-how, but also the ability to make sure customers pay their bills in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, many customers delay their payments or avoid paying at all for one reason or another. When that happens, the clinic can have trouble meeting its intended revenue stream.
With that in mind, how can your medical clinic stay on top of patients and their ability to pay on time? Just as importantly, what action or actions can you take if the payments are not coming in on deadlines?
Reaching Out for Help
When it comes to unpaid bills, medical clinics are oftentimes one of the biggest losers.
Not only did you provide a service that took time and effort, but you of course expect to be compensated in return for your work. Unfortunately, billing the patient over and over again not only takes your team time and effort, but there are no guarantees you will ever hear from the individual again.
With that being said, can you turn for outside help to recoup the funds?
As it turns out, there are companies out there who will take up your billing efforts, doing the work for you so you can concentrate on helping others with medical needs. When you locate the right medical billing company, you put the burden of gathering those funds on them and off of your shoulders.
With that in mind, how do you go about finding the right medical billing provider to claim the funds owed to you?
Among the features to look at:
- Reputation – You don’t want to work with a medical billing service that is known for being too aggressive with patients in trying to claim money. Research each and every provider you are considering working with. Do they have a clean and solid history of working with patients? Have they ever had run-ins with groups like the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? What methods do they deploy in order to get the money owed clinics? These are just some of the areas you need to investigate, making sure you choose a service with a rock-solid reputation;
- Customer service – Not only is how a billing service provider handles dealing with patients important, but also their customer service initiatives towards you. Do they answer any and all questions you may have? Are they easily accessible or do you have to go out of your way to track them down on a regular basis? Do they provide you with continuous updates on how the collection rate process is going, including easy-to-read documents to show how much money (co-pays, deductibles etc.) has been taken in from each individual patient? Does the billing service make sure it doesn’t get paid until you do? Is everything they do in compliance with all HIPPA rules and regulations? Make sure you have the answers to these and other questions before choosing a service provider.
Working with Patients Moving Forward
While there are no doubt some patients who will try every which way possible to cheat the system, the majority of individuals are likely to either pay within a reasonable amount of time or work out a payment plan with you.
That said it is important on your end that you try and work with patients as much as possible, giving them and you and organized approach to make payments on time.
It is not uncommon for many medical clinics and other such operations to allow patients to use a payment plan, especially for larger bills that are all but impossible to pay for in one payment.
Without giving patients too much wiggle room (to the point where they take advantage of you), sit down with those who are struggling financially, looking to see how they can best compensate you in a timely and fair manner.
If they are a regularly returning patient, you have the opportunity to build up a line of communication and trust between them and your business over time.
Working for free is something typically only volunteers do.
Even though you are in business to help those with medical issues, you also need to have a home over your head and food on your table.
Finding the right medical billing provider today can alleviate tomorrow’s financial issues.