Do you know your patient’s deductibles and how much they’ve paid toward them before you treat them? If not, you may be missing the most important key to determining if they will pay your bill.
The fact that only 36% of your patients with high deductibles will pay you should be enough to wonder if you should even treat them. I’m not suggesting you turn them away, but I am suggesting you take a few additional steps to ensure they will pay you.
First, make sure you are getting accurate eligibility, complete with deductible information. Automate this if you can. If your practice is manually checking with payors, you are wasting a lot of man-hours. There are many good tools out there to do this automatically and accurately. (Easy Pay is associated with one of the best tools available)
Second, make sure you have a financial discussion with your patient. If they fall in the high deductible category, let them know that they will most likely be responsible for your entire bill. Ask them if, and how they will be able to pay.
Third, make sure you get a credit card on file for them to ensure you’ll be paid. If they will not be able to pay the entire bill in one payment, set up a payment plan immediately. This will give the patient the assurance the bill will be paid in a way that fits their budget and they can obtain the treatment they need.
Fourth, make sure you follow up soon after the first billing cycle. Since you know these patients are much less likely to pay, you should stay on top of the account and not allow it to fall behind. If the card on file or payment plan fails for some reason, early contact and communication will be the best way to work with the patient for payment.
If you put these steps in place, make them mandatory, and help patients understand they have options, you will give your practice the best shot at increasing that payment percentage for those with high deductible plans.