A written collection policy sets the tone for how you extend credit and collect outstanding balances. It should outline the company’s procedures on a variety of topics such as what information to collect from a patient upfront and how to set up a payment plan. Most importantly, you should publish, train to and abide by the rules that the collection policy sets.
You’ll also want to think about how often you will contact a patient who has an outstanding balance and when to write off if it remains unpaid. The policy should follow the collective culture of your organization and define the workflow of who will complete which tasks throughout the process.
1. Observe the “C’s” of Patient Collections: Clear and Compassionate
Treat every patient the same way – and most importantly, provide clear details so your team can focus on their health and well-being. The conversations can be more about details surrounding co-insurance and payment arrangements.
This isn’t to say that collections of these dollars should be ignored – our goal is to urge you to standardize the way you deal with each patient – and publish the rules. Our experience over the years has shown that these types of actions will both increase your internal team’s confidence in collections and the clarity with which patients work with the organization.
2. Understand the way that Patient AR affects Days Sales Outstanding
We all know that collecting ‘more’ equals greater collections, but all HME providers aren’t affected the same way by their policy. You need to evaluate the type of business you do and the effort involved with chasing down patient balances.