The first option in successful debt collection is to change old or outdated policies and procedures. If you keep old or outdated collection techniques, bad debt will continue to increase. Another way of reducing or collecting bad debt is to engage the patient upfront or at the point of service. One way to do this is by screening the patients to determine if they are able to qualify for some programs which may be able to help pay down debt (Mathur, 2016). This way they will be given the same quality of care, without either party incurring such a large debt. Some hospitals or clinics are asking for payment up front or in advance. This can be done by means of a credit card, pay pal or health care credit companies. Training your collections department is also crucial in the collections process. Educating the patient whether this is through counseling, pricing transparency or a combination of both, a well-informed patient is a patient who pays their bills and can make better decisions about which bills they should incur (Mathur, 2016). Lastly, the key to a good collection program is first to identify which patients can be collected from immediately, and how much can be collected (Gapenski & Pink, 2011). Several hospitals use a Third Party Billing and Collection Agencies, but you must make sure that the collection agency is adhering to all Federal and State laws. Personal contact with the patient will also assist in the collection process. Patients want to be treated with respect and not just an account. If you give the patient time to pay off the debt, this will likely increase your chances of collecting and reducing bad debt or charity care. Putting patients on a payment plan can be an option for debt recovery.
Mathur.R. (2016) Understanding the Impact of Bad Debt
Gapenski. L & Pink. G. (2011). Understanding Healthcare Financial Management, Sixth Edition.
Health Administration Press, Chicago, Illinois
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