Prompt payment is critical to the financial health of a practice. There are processes that can be effective in obtaining payments.
1. Have a defined financial and collection policy:
Clearly state payment terms on the patient registration form and statement. Have defined office procedures for late payments: when to call (40 days), send a reminder notice (45 days), ‘serious reminder’ letter (60 days), and final attempt call.
2. Send out statements promptly and consistently:
Get a systematic billing system! Many times the patient has not paid simply because they haven’t received an invoice or statement. Once reminded, most patients pay in a timely manner. Doing the necessary follow up and sending past due reminders every 15 days can make a big difference in payments.
3. Contact overdue accounts more frequently.
Contacting late payers every 15 days lets you to diplomatically remind the patient of payment terms, and also ensure the patient is satisfied with your services.
4. Use your aging sheet, not your feelings.
All patients should be treated in the same manner with the same expectation of prompt payment.
5. Train your staff.
Addressing past due accounts while maintaining goodwill with patients can be challenging for staff. Customer service training can help communicate payment information to patients. Be sure your staff can easily process a credit card payment or ACH check draft.
6. Follow your state’s collection laws.
In many states, practices are governed by the same laws as collection agencies. For example, communicating in writing or verbally that the account will be forwarded to an attorney or a credit bureau and then failing to do so can be a violation of some state and federal collection laws. Harassing or contacting a patient at unreasonable hours, or using threats or profane language can lead to serious consequences. Contact your state’s consumer protection agency for clarification. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA-federal law) applies to business to consumers (B2C), not business to business (B2B) collection techniques.
7. Use a third party early in the process.
Consider using a third-party intervention service once an account reaches 90 days. Designed for early intervention, a pre-collect service can save practices the internal costs of working accounts beyond the point of reason. Pre-collect third party services allow you to keep 100% of the money if collected timely.
8. Remember that nobody collects every account.
Even by setting up and adhering to a specific collection plan, there are some accounts that will never be collected. Identifying these accounts early will save a great deal of time and expense.
Transworld Systems/TSI i
s a medical debt collections agency. Part of TPA’s Affiliate Partners Program, TSI offers discounted automated reminder call and invoice services, Accelerator®, pre-collect services or general collections.
New clients will receive an
additional 10% off programs purchased through June 30
Contact Michael Glass at (248) 914-0346 or