7 Patient Billing Mistakes to avoid in Medical Billing
Money does grow on trees. It is time to pick the low-lying fruit of your labors.
Mistake 1. Not Getting Referral Authorizations when required
Whatever medical services you render, you won’t get paid correctly unless the patient has the prior authorization or referral to be treated by you from his insurance company, if required. Never schedule a patient without them. Not obtaining them is like giving free care unnecessarily.
Mistake 2. Not collecting the correct co-pay amounts before you see the patient
Never collect co-payments haphazardly. Co-payments can account for as much as 50% of the reimbursement for an office visit or a procedure. Verify co-pays and require up-front payment from the patient before they come into your office or treatment room.
Mistake 3. Not educating patients on their financial responsibility to you and your practice
Remind patients of their part of the grand bargain. They or their insurance companies are responsible for paying for your services. They need to know their responsibility for payment of co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance, and non-covered services based on their plans before you see them.
Mistake 4. Not having your back-office coordinate patient balances with your front office
Some patients take advantage of the lack of communication between your office staff. They leave it to your office to know what they owe on their co-pays, deductibles, non-covered patient balances. This is true even for patients you see regularly for months or years. These amounts can comprise as much as 20% of your outstanding accounts receivable, if unchecked and uncollected.
Mistake 5. Not penalizing patients for not paying their unpaid balances in a timely way
Patients always ask this question, “What’s in it for me?” It must be “What happens if I don’t pay my bills?”. Late-Payment fees can motivate patients to pay bills promptly. Applying late fees for delinquent accounts will improve your bank account and lower your overhead costs.
Mistake 6. Not using collection agencies wisely and judiciously
Don’t think of collection agencies as lawsuits waiting to happen. They are business partners with your interests in mind. In all our years of working with collection agencies for doctors, a lawsuit has never happened to a single CPM client. Think of collection receipts as found money you thought you lost.
Mistake 7. Not knowing exactly what your billing company does for you
CPM has processes, procedures, and forms to ensure that all the above mistakes are eliminated or, at least, minimized. These can mean more revenues year after year. CPM has increased collections by up to 20% in the first year of client engagement from prior year based on comparative data or client testimonials.
CPM – The Doctor’s Business Doctor – Medical Billing your way – the only way!