Codapedia is now a division of Find-A-Code

Collect More Cash from Patients

August 11th, 2017 - Christine Taxin
Categories:   Accounts Receivable|Payments  
0 Votes - Sign in to vote or comment.

One of the easiest things a practice can do to increase collections makes it easier for patients to pay by whatever method they have available at the time of the visit, says Christine Taxin Adjunct Professor at NYU Dental School and Owner of Links2Success.biz. 

This includes accepting credit and debit cards, cash or check. Third party companies such as Care Credit are more important than ever.  Practices should invest time upfront to know what insurance the patient has and what the copay will be, whether it’s through a third-party or by assigning staff to look up the data before the visit.

Practices can also keep a patient’s credit card on file along with an agreement that the practice can use it for billing.  Links2Success  warns that there are specific rules for storing this data that come from the card issuers, including tracking system access and regularly testing security.

As health insurance costs shift away from payers toward patients in the form of higher copays and deductibles, physicians must have a firm grasp of their practices’ cash flow if they want to survive in a changing industry.  All patients even if they go in a network will have deductibles and copays to make.  As a new member to the Medicare system, not only am I paying for the insurance but must meet the guidelines of deductible and copayments before any treatment is rendered.  If you are billing medical for a bigger case or a case not covered by dental, all patients will have to pay a deductible, so in the end, you are able to save the patients thousands of dollars.

 Experts agree that as patients are expected to pay more, the risks of a cash flow shortage for practice increases, because consumers aren’t as reliable as insurers when it comes to payments, and some patients can’t pay the full bill— or any part of it—on their own.

Consumers pay more than twice as slowly as commercial payers, and rank medical bills seventh in importance, behind cell phones and internet providers, according to research from global consulting firm McKinsey & Co.  Medical providers are often the last to be paid, assuming there is any money left at the end of the month. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics indicate that 25% of families have an unpaid healthcare bill, 20% are paying a medical bill over time and 10% have a medical bill they cannot pay at the time of service. 

“Consumers opt for the lower-priced insurance with the high deductible, because they are optimistic they won’t have to use it,” says Andrew Graham, MBA, president and chief executive officer of Clinic Service, a Denver-based healthcare consulting firm. “When the deductible shows up, they are shocked. They don’t always understand the deductible requires funding on their end.”

Practices are especially vulnerable to a cash crunch in the first few months of the year when deductibles reset, shifting the entire payment burden onto the patient. With the trend of rising deductibles and more patient payment responsibility expected to increase, practices must be more vigilant about cash flow to enable them to get through the lean months and ensure they have enough cash to operate throughout the year.

“Cash flow has never been more important than it is now,” says Graham.


Christine Taxin
Links2Success 
36 Abington Avenue
Ardsley, New York 10502
United States of America
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

###

Questions, comments?

If you have questions or comments about this article please contact us.  Comments that provide additional related information may be added here by our Editors.


Latest articles:  (any category)

Small Practices are Affected by MIPS Increased Thresholds
June 25th, 2018 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
We recently heard about a small practice that had been faithfully submitting all the required “G” codes for the Quality Payment Program (QPP) only to discover that for 2018 they are excluded from MIPS because the low volume threshold increased from $30,000 in Part B allowed charges or 100 Part ...
How Does the Physician Compare Website Affect You?
June 25th, 2018 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
The physician compare website may not be working quite the way you think it is. Not all providers will have rankings showing up for them. Physician compare lists basic information, but quality measure information was not added until this year (2018) and not all quality measures are included in the ...
VA Expands Telehealth
June 14th, 2018 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
On May 11, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released its final rule on the "Authority of VA Health Care Providers to Practice Telehealth." Effective June 11, 2018, VA providers will be able to provide telehealth services across state lines. This move will make it easier for veterans to obtain ...
Will Medicare's Proposed Reformations Affect Your Practice?
June 12th, 2018 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
Recently, Medicare's Innovation Center released an informal Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on several different system reformation proposals. As the market moves towards more value based payment systems, innovation and new models are being sought to both reduce costs and increase quality. This article outlines the ideas presented in the ...
Inappropriate Use of Units Costs Practice Over $800,000
June 11th, 2018 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research & Aimee Wilcox, CPMA, CCS-P, CMHP, CST, MA, MT
A recent OIG enforcement action emphasizes the need to understand the proper use of units. A healthcare provider in Connecticut improperly submitted multiple units for drug screening urine tests. The proper billing of units has proven to be problematic for more than just lab tests. Is your billing of drugs & biologicals, injections and timed codes appropriate?
Coding for Strains in ICD 10
May 30th, 2018 - BC Advantage
According to the National Institutes of Health, a review was carried out on 20 patients who had a pectoralis major muscle repair between 2003 and 2011, and the results were as follows....
AMA vs Medicare rules and the use of the PT modifier
May 22nd, 2018 - Chris Woolstenhulme, QCC, CMCS, CPC, CMRS
Be sure to review the specific payer policy you are submitting claims to. Medicare’s policy requires the use of a different code when a screening colonoscopy becomes a diagnostic procedure requiring you to bill with CPT code 00811 when treating a Medicare Beneficiary. The use of the PT modifier is ...



About Codapedia & Find-A-Code Contact Us Terms of Use Privacy Policy Advertise with Us

Codapedia™/Find-A-Code™ - 62 E 300 North, Spanish Fork, UT 84660 - Phone 801-770-4203 (9-5 Mountain) - Fax (801) 770-4428

Copyright © 2009-2018 Find A Code, LLC - CPT® copyright American Medical Association