Want to Decrease Your Patient Delinquent Accounts? Follow These Tips.
Assess your financial responsibility contract and ensure that the contract terms contain provisions to protect and deter patients from incurring medical debt.
#1 – Institute Lates Fees and Interest
One clause which can deter patients from incurring medical debt is to have a provision that allows you to charge the statutory interest rate on unpaid balances. Most people have ongoing financial obligations and debts. However, debtors tend to be more motivated to pay upon the debts in which they are incurring late fees or interest charges. The laws in many states allow for interest or late fees to be applied to unpaid balances more than 30, 60, or 90 days old. Failing to institute those fees and interest charges only cause patients to place you last on their list of creditors.
#2 – Use Appropriate Contract Clauses
Second, the terms of the admissions documents, authorization for treatment, and patient financial responsibility should all contain a clause that places the responsibility of payment of any reasonable attorneys that you incur as a result of having to hire an attorney to pursue past due accounts in court upon the patient. A law firm that has an experienced collections practice will be able to provide you with the correct language to contain in your contracts.
One of the most common complaints we hear from patients with past due balances is that they don’t understand the bills and invoices they receive.
While you have poured hours of love and work into your billing system and are familiar with your invoices, most of your patients have not seen your invoices. They may find it confusing, especially if they are elderly or dealing with an ongoing disease or illness. Review your invoices to ensure that they are easily followed and understood by someone of the fourth-grade reading level. Additionally, ensure that if there is a partial payment received from a medical insurance provider, that partial payment is credited correctly and reflected upon the invoice. Likewise, if the balance owed to you is due to the patient having a co-pay or their deductible has not yet been met, then reflect these reasons on the invoices you send. Consistent, timely, and professional billing practices will only reduce the amount of past due invoices you have now and in the future, so invest in your billing department now.
#3 – Know Your Client’s Latest Contact Information
Lastly, stay up to date on your client contact information. Make it a common practice to ask your patient’s every visit if their insurance or contact information has changed. This best business practice will ensure your patients get your invoices and that you have the most up to date location of where your patient is in the event you do need to file in court. Having current information on your patients can cut back on legal expenses as well as give your attorney a reliable platform to begin collecting upon any judgments awarded to you.
Don’t just hire a collections agency, instead hire a law firm that is well versed in debt collections and consumer collections laws to ensure that the business reputation that you have worked so hard for is preserved. Our law firm and seasoned attorneys take pride in using courteous, professional, and effective collections methods to recover past due balances. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
About Andalman & Flynn Collections: For decades, businesses and professionals have been turning to the experienced collections attorneys at Andalman & Flynn for their debt recovery needs. A licensed collections agency, their experienced team successfully navigates the complex laws surrounding debt collection practices. The firm combines cutting-edge technology with savvy, effective debt resolution methods that result in high success rates and fast recovery times. For more information, please visit www.andalmanflynncollections.com.