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Patient Payments Blog

Would You Rather Prevent Or Collect Past Due Balances?

Posted by Jim Turner

Sep 19, 2019, 8:30:00 AM

There may be some folks that love to collect past due balances; I just haven’t met any of them. So I’m gong to assume that most of us would rather prevent past due balances and forget having to collect them altogether.

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Have you ever sold or purchased anything from Craigslist or Facebook marketplace? How did that transaction go down? If you were the seller, and offering an item of real value; would you allow someone to take the item home without first paying for it? What would be the consequences of allowing that?

 

I understand that medical offices aren’t selling items using social media, but you are selling something, right? You are selling the doctor’s time, expertise, advice, and perhaps more. You have an expensive office, costly equipment, and information the doctor invested years to learn and perfect.

 

It’s difficult for many of us to look at healthcare and sales in the same sentence. We don’t like to think of something so crucial to the wellbeing of so many as something to be sold. But, in reality, it is. Not like a used car or ‘like new’ piano, but practices are definitely selling services. And as such, should expect to be paid for those services in a timely manner.

 

But then there’s insurance, which complicates everything. It takes time to submit claims and determine final patient balances. This time gap allows for patients to get used to avoiding payment. They think, ‘I’ll just wait until the doctor sends me the third notice before I pay. By that time they will have the balance right.’ Our system trains patients to think they are not expected to pay anything until we start printing in red ink on the statement.

 

But wait, there are tools that cut to the chase. We’ve talked about them a lot here at the Easy Pay blog. There are tools that auto-check insurance eligibility, that automatically estimate the patient’s remaining balance according to their plan and the treatment, that allow your practice to collect from that estimate and/or schedule an automated payment plan. All things that prevent past due balances rather than having to collect them after the fact.

 

I realize that we spend a lot of digital ink to continue to get this point across but we know it’s worth it. I just talked to a practice administrator that implemented just one of these tools - point of service collections using a card-on-file policy. He told me that they no longer have ANY balances older than 30 days unless they are on an automated payment plan. WHAT!!

 

It can be done. And we can show you how. Maybe it’s time to prevent all that money chasing and past due invoice collecting. Learn about the tools and start planning to use them - you will thank yourself! Download our 'how to' below and get a start. 

 

DOWNLOAD GUIDE

Topics: Patient Balances, Patient Collections, Past Due Balances

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