These are few plans designed to get these outstanding amounts off from books.
1. Educate (re-educate) effectively your front office employees: Firstly train your front-work area employees about checking the client’s record regarding the balances. It is very powerful to make your client’s recalled about their unpaid balances if any before they get any administration by you on that particular day. As clients want to get checked they will normally pay a portion of their whole bill so that they can remain in the good books of the doctors. An aspect of this education includes about how to ask for any dues which are on client’s end. If you ask this question the answers could be yes or no and it is very easy for the clients to say no if you ask them in an inappropriate way. e.g.: if the question being asked in an interrogative tone or will you pay your dues this time then you are yourself giving the client a clue to say no. You can rather put a question. How would you like to pay your bill today? It tells that the question should be open ended rather than closed ended.
2. Conduct meetings consistently with your relevant employees to get an update about the A/R Status: There is software through which A/R can be assessed in multiple ways. You can easily check the amount which needs to be collected on client’s end. Once the workers get the knowledge they can work efficiently and comfortably on such accounts. It has been seen that if you work actively even on smaller amounts the A/R could be reduced magically.
3. Be kind to your struggling clients: it could serve as a very intelligent move. You can help your patients who are really needy and cannot afford much. There are some clients who don’t want to disturb you by not paying but die to their financial conditions they cannot afford so in these cases you can develop a payment plan. As long as they fulfill their plan commitments you can provide them services, at least you are adding something in your account to decrease the A/R.
4. Be tough with other patients: This refers to those patients who are not willing to pay and it has been seen that there are people who have a lot of outstanding amounts on their account and they keep coming back to visit the doctors’ offices. You should be strict to those patients and intimate them through proper official letters about the results of their outstanding bills. It has been observed that notices comprising termination of services often get the attention of such clients. It is further noticed that usually you get very small amount on the large substantial bills but still you get the outstanding amounts off from your records. Sometimes the A/R are in such amounts that the cases need to be sent to recovery agencies and some clients surprisingly pay their full outstanding amount to you instead of paying it to recovery agencies. Now it’s also a matter of decision making that whether you want to continue with such clients or not. It is sometimes advisable to terminate relationships with such patients.
5. Get the doctors involved as a last resort: Most of the physicians are reluctant to involve in the financial matters with their clients, but if the doctor gets involved then it is very much possible that the things get eased out. The patients behave very politely with doctors however they sometimes become rude with other workers. This awkward topic should not be ignored by doctors if a need arises to discuss it with patients. It could be taken along with other complicated issues doctors talk with patients. Doctors should talk to the patients in an appropriate and assertive manner and remind the patients that medical license fees and other overheads need to get paid.
6. Once you start practicing A/R gathering plans, don’t get slow on them: When you have started working on your outstanding payments, keep on doing it consistently and effectively. Also keep working on your current A/R even of 02 moths or newer. If you keep your payments current the outstanding amount list will eventually decrease.
7. Apply any outstanding amount to the client’s liability: Any amounts which is outstanding on client’s part put it on the client’s liability e.g.: on their deductibles usually. It has been observed that due to this patient’s credits have been decreased. These outstanding can be reassigned to other patients’ accounts as well after checking their accounts.
8. Design or formulate your payment policy plans: This is another effective and one of the best ways to collect payments/patients’ responsibilities: You can design your payment policies and put it on patient’s charts so that patients are aware of it and they know what you expect from them. This policy should be in black and white so at the point of payment no ambiguity should come between you and your patients. You can also define or plan that at what point you can take what type of action. Sometimes a simple phone call would suffice or sometimes the matter should be taken legally.
You are putting a lot of efforts for the patients. Make sure that you get paid for these efforts.
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