Payment Due At Time Of Service

 How To Get Patients Paying Their Share So You Can Keep Your Doors Open, Maintain Compliance, and Serve Your Community

  

Dear Clinician Business Owner,

 It happens to all of us…

You’re on your way home and stop for a gallon of milk. But darn it, you forgot your billfold! You don’t have a single dollar or debit card on you…

Will you say to the cashier you’ll pay tomorrow, or you’ll put a check in the mail?

Unlikely; chances are you won’t even try.

But that’s what the folks working your front desk hear almost daily!

Patients come to their appointments without money to make their co-pay, pay their co-insurance or deductible. But they still expect to be seen…

In all fairness, most of the time, there’s a sound explanation for why they have no money on them.

And that’s why you and your staff struggle to collect what should be paid at the time of service: copays, co-insurance, and deductibles.

But then again…

It’s one thing to be at the grocery store without money. You just leave, and no one’s hurt or missing out.

But it’s another thing entirely if it happens in your office. Because, as we all know, it’s far more complicated when a patient comes in and can’t pay.

Why?

Because little Jimmy may be sick or Jackie may need a refill for the medication she depends on.

As for you, you’ve set aside the time for the appointment. If you don’t see the patient today, you’ll have a gap in your schedule.

And let’s not forget the business side of it; after all, this is how you generate revenue. You only get paid when you see patients, not when you turn them away!

It’s a predicament, no matter how you look at it. And the people working at the front desk fully understand it.

 

What Should They Do?

What should they do when a patient comes to an appointment without money or doesn’t want to pay up front?

  • Turn them away?
  • Reschedule the appointment?
  • Lecture them why payment is due at time of service?

While lecturing those who think they shouldn’t have to pay anything (ever), may be tempting, it’s not a good idea. These patients will use your services until you get tough with them. And that’s when they move on to another provider.

But luckily, these patients are the exception, not the rule.

Most of your patients genuinely appreciate what you do for them. They are more than willing to pay, even though they may forget their debit card or may not have the money.

After all, it can happen to any of us…

 

 

A Bigger Problem Still

However, there’s a bigger problem you’re up against.

It's yet another reason some patients may not have the money to pay their share.

You see, healthcare in America is getting more and more expensive! Consequently, even insured Americans report difficulty affording health care and keeping up with payments.

Patient out of pocket costs are soaring, even for those with insurance.

Many are faced with bigger co-pays, higher coinsurance, and sky-high deductibles.

High Deductible High Premium Plans (HDHP) are on the rise: a whopping 54% increase since 2010!

39.1% of HDHP subscribers under the age of 65 are privately insured. And 39% of large employers today offer only high-deductible plans.

What does it mean for you and your practice?

It puts providers like you, smack dab in the middle, caught between “a rock and a hard place.”

On the one hand, you know how much financial stress affects the health of your patients. On the other hand, you need to collect money from them.

You must collect copays, coinsurance, and deductibles or your business could be negatively affected.

Because what’s called “patient responsibility” is a significant part of your revenue today. And if you neglect to collect these payments from patients, the financial health of your practice could be at stake.

Did you know the average practice stands to lose thousands of dollars in revenue each year if they are not collecting co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles?

So please, don’t think for a moment that it doesn’t matter if you collect all patient balances or not.

But there’s more to consider here.

And you may not be aware of it…

You see if you don’t collect copays, coinsurance, and deductibles from patients… patient responsibility, prepare yourself for two things: 

  • Firstly, as I said before, you’ll lose revenue, lots of revenue. Not collecting money from patients may even force you to close your practice down the road. Because past a certain point it may not be financially viable to keep your doors open.
  • Secondly, you could run into legal trouble. Most insurance contracts stipulate what payments you must collect from patients. And if you don’t collect, you may find yourself in violation of a legally binding contract. 

And that’s a reality you don’t want to ignore!

Not only is it in your best interest to collect all patient balances, but you also have a legal obligation to do so.

And it’s up to you to collect, even from those patients who may be struggling financially.

So what should you do?

 

What Can You Do?

Decide to address the problem head on!

Because if you don’t do anything, you could find yourself in a heap of trouble.

And that’s why you must implement strategies to collect all patient balances. That’s if you want to keep the doors open, maintain compliance, and continue to serve your patients.

You must develop effective front desk procedures and retrain your staff, so they can easily collect money from patients without feeling guilty or offending them.

And the more money you can collect at the time of service, the better for your practice. Because the more time elapses between service and payment, the lesser of a chance to collect on outstanding balances at all.

 

 

Educate Your Patients

In addition to training your staff, you must also “train” your patients.

It’s essential patients understand their responsibility and the expectation to make payment at the time of service.

Unfortunately, for many providers and their staff, the topic of money is uncomfortable. And never mind asking for money right after someone has told you they can’t afford to pay.

That’s the reason some of these conversations never take place...

And that’s why I created “Maximizing Your Front Desk Collections.”

In it, I share my best strategies and techniques to help you collect what today is a significant part of your revenue.

Once you know what to do, you don’t need to feel awkward or uncomfortable, and there’s no need to worry about offending or alienating your patients.

“Maximizing Front Desk Collections” shows you:

  • How to boost your comfort level so you can gracefully talk about money and ask for payment.
  • How to talk “money” with patients so that you won’t feel you have to give up ground.
  • How to avoid embarrassing “money-discussions” so your patients won’t feel uncomfortable or offended.
  • How to determine “patient responsibility” based on contract, so you know exactly what is required.
  • How to increase your collections by offering discounts and lend a hand to those patients that may need it.
  • How you can utilize technology to improve collections and streamline your process.
  • Why you want to offer various payment options, so your patients have more choices when paying their bills.
  • How to utilize a patient portal so you can offer more flexibility to your patients.
  • The reasons why you always want to bill at once, without delay.
  • The benefits of a robust financial policy so there is clarity and patients fully understand it.
  • How to collect a deposit from patients against future charges.
  • How to place a credit card on file, maintaining HIPPA compliance.
  • How to easily verify insurance coverage.
  • How to quickly verify outstanding balances.
  • How to determine the best time to collect payments. 

 

Last but not least, also included are scripts for your front desk staff so that they will know:

  • How to ask for money without being timid or uncomfortable.
  • How to ask for money without hurting your relationship with patients.
  • What additional payment options to offer to patients that avoid confrontation and keep communication open.
  • What to say to patients and how to say it, no matter the situation.
  • What to do and how to act, no matter the circumstances.
  • What exactly you expect them to do in various situations…

 

If you’re ready to learn the simple steps that will help you maximize your front desk collections...

In Summary, Here Is What You Get

You’ll get immediate access to everything in “Maximize Your Front Desk Collections” once the checkout process is complete.

  • You get over 93 minutes of bite-sized video instruction, so you know what to do step by step.
  • You get a workbook, resource documents, and sample forms so you can quickly implement what you learn.
  • You get checklists and collection scripts to train your staff so that they will know what to say and what to do.
  • You get access to resource links to help you utilize additional materials.
  • You get immediate access to this 100% digital program.
  • Consume the program at your convenience, 24/7, from the comfort of your home or any location of your choosing.

  

What’s Missing From the Program?

What’s not included with the program is the resolve and discipline it takes to implement new processes and systems and to see them through. Only you and your staff can do that!

But beyond that, you will find everything you need to maximize your front desk collections, right in this program.

See for yourself how simple it can be to collect more payments from patients upfront.

Discover the simple steps that will maximize your upfront collections when you get your copy of "Maximize Your Front Desk Collections” today.

 

I look forward to seeing you inside the program!

Best regards,

Barbara C. Phillips, APRN, GNP, FNP-BC, FAANP

 

P. S.

Remember, your investment in the program may be a business deduction. Be sure to check with your tax advisor.

 

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