If you have questions about coding or billing for nonphysician providers, contact Melesia Tillman, CPC, CRHC, CHA, at (404) 633-3777 ext. 820 or [email protected].
New Practice Management Books
The ACR has published two new e-books to assist ACR and ARHP members with practice management: The Business Side of Rheumatology and Rheumatology Coding Manual. These reference guides can be viewed online or downloaded to keep in office. Visit www.rheumatology.org/publications to get your copies today.
Managing Patient Payments
Medical bills are one of the most common unpaid debts for consumers. A McKinsey Quarterly report stated that 50% of every dollar billed to patients goes uncollected—an estimated $65 billion in uncollected revenue in 2010! The number of uninsured Americans plays a pivotal role in this issue. To help alleviate the burden on your practice, have a variety of payment options available for your patients to keep the revenue stream flowing.
Be proactive and collect payment at the point of service, if you don’t already do so. Here are a few tips to improve revenue through the collections process:
- Create a payment policy that is fair and flexible to meet the needs of all patients. Communicate the policy through various mediums—on paper, your website, signs posted in the waiting room, and check in/out forms.
- Give patients the opportunity to pay as little or as much on their balance as they want at any time. Set up online payment options to make payment convenient.
- Allow patients in financial difficulty to design the terms of their payment plan. Accept this in writing, and hold the patient to it.
- Train staff to firmly but gently communicate with patients about their financial responsibility.
- Provide a monthly payment coupon book for patients that are on a payment plan.
- Ask patients to pay a minimum on old balances as well as current charges at time of service.
The main point is to ensure that your practice maintains a healthy and consistent cash flow. Consistent enforcement of your policies and procedures is key.
If you have questions related to practice management, contact the ACR’s practice management department at (404) 633-3777 or [email protected].