When a patient owes a debt, there are several challenges that a medical practitioner can face. For one, there is no guarantee that an insurance provider will pay for the debt owed. Also, there may be a portion of the debt that the patient is responsible for, but has not yet paid for.
Submit to the Right Payer
To increase the odds that a payer will actually pay, you must double-check that you are submitting to the right payer. Your payment will be delayed if you must keep sending a claim back and forth. Do not wait for the insurance provider to get back to you, but follow-up until you have gotten paid. When you do not follow-up, there is a risk that you may be waiting for an insurance provider who may ultimately be unable to pay the claim.
Do Not Simply Wait
Insurance providers can often have strict rules that can be used as a justification for denying a claim. You must inform the patient about any claim denials and the follow-ups you are performing. Sometimes, the policyholder is able to persuade the insurance provider that the medical procedure is something that should be covered.
Train Your Staff on a Specific Bill Collection Process
Have a very clear process that your staff must follow to ensure that a debt is ultimately paid. For instance, you may include a flowchart with the appropriate response to each type of situation. Then, you must make sure that there are enough staff members to handle each stage of the process. For instance, if you do not have enough staff contacting insurance providers, hire more. Invest in training so that staff members are efficient.
Have Plans to Seek Payment from Your Patient
Because insurance providers may only pay for part or even none of your bill, make sure to have a plan for receiving a payment from the patient if necessary. Contact the patient and discuss the options that he or she may have. For instance, your patient may need to secure medical financing. Or, you may simply need to call the patient periodically until he or she makes a payment.
Work with a Managed Billing Company
The easiest way to ensure that you are paid is to not handle your billing at all. Instead, you should hire a managed billing company that will have trained staff that can work both with insurance providers and patients to ensure that your bill is paid.