Collection Policy, Part 2: Where do I start when creating a Collection Policy?

When creating a collection policy, your goal is to create a published document that outlines the company’s collection procedures.  It will include a variety of topics from setting up a patient record to processing a payment. Keep in mind, the purpose of the policy is to help establish the collection culture of your organization and define who will complete which tasks throughout the process.

To begin, pull out your current documents. These notes will help you outline what is commonly known as your “workflow.” Your workflow will detail what happens when you receive an order and follows a patient’s journey until their bill is paid. Our patient invoice flow chart will give you some ideas on what to include.

Next – keep it current!  Update whenever you add a new approval step, change who receives the order, etc.  You will also need a way to alert your staff when a new version is available. You might want to post an announcement on a wall, send it out in an email or link it to your company’s SharePoint or Intranet.

Why do we use pictures and diagrams to teach adults?

People learn in different ways, so you will have to use written instructions as well as diagrams in the policy. The science behind visualization and adult learning is vast. If you’re into that sort of thing, check out this study done by Springer’s Journal on Instructional Science.

What if you haven’t written a policy before?

Don’t fear. There is quite a bit written on creating a policy. You can download our Collection Policy Template to get started.  It includes a section for each of the questions we have outlined below. Your answers should be clear and concise, and written in a tone and with the terminology your team can understand.

Need help getting started?

Don’t worry, you are not alone.  Many organizations we work with don’t have a collection policy. Allegiance Group is here to help. Here are a couple of resources we suggest you download:

First, here’s a patient invoice flow chart which outlines the best practices workflow. It is based on our 14 years of experience helping our clients achieve their collection goals. It’s simple and highlights those questions that we mentioned earlier in a step-by-step process that should trace your patient’s journey.

Whether you’re a workflow expert or not, you’ll find that this flow chart  can lead you and your team through a healthy discussion while creating your collections policy. Just make the adjustments in the workflow to match the culture of your company.

Once you’ve outlined how it ‘should’ work for various scenarios, you’re ready to start writing the collection policy document.

Our second resource, the Allegiance Group’s sample collection policy, should help you get a jump start on documenting your policy.

When writing a collection policy, your goal is to create a published document that provides guidelines for your collection procedures. Once you have created your policy, we suggest you seek assistance from your accountant or financial adviser. They are familiar with your business and can help identify unique areas that you may have overlooked. If you have questions, we’d like to help and have the experience that you can be confident in. All you have to do is reach out.

Allegiance Group provides turn-key solutions to automate the collection of outstanding balances for healthcare providers. Click here or email us at info@allegiance-group.com if you need advice. We are glad to help.