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Ways to Collect Deductibles at the Beginning of a New Calendar Year

February 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 138

It's that time of year again when patients' deductibles are needed to be met. EOB's are being received with no check and a large portion or all of the amount billed is going towards a patient's deductible. Then from that point, a patient invoice is sent out and it's up to the patient and it's their responsibility to pay the physician. With that in mind, how can practices keep the cash flow going during the first few months of a new calendar year? Most offices have taken a proactive approach with patients that have deductibles.

Here are a few tips on ways to keep a steady cash flow during this time.

(1) Take the appointment schedule for the week or even each day and go through all returning patients and call the insurance company to verify how much of the deductible has been met.

(2) Start a separate list with the patients name and insurance and how much of the deductible has been met and what the deductible amount is.

(3) When making appointments, ask the patient if they have a deductible and if they say they do, then it would be wise to inform them that a portion will be collected at the time of service.

(4) Decide up front how much your office is going to collect, some offices collect between 20% to 30% of the total bill.

(5) Make sure to indicate on the superbill for the insurance biller that the amount collected is for that days visit. Otherwise the patient may have an outstanding account and you don't want to confuse what date of service it should be applied to.

(6) Patients with Medicare may also have a deductible but if they have a secondary insurance, that insurance will usually pick up the secondary balance such as Medi-cal.

Most patients know that they have a deductible and should not be surprised that they are responsible for that portion before their insurance starts to pay. It's best to be as tactful as possible when asking the patient that they are expected to pay up front when a lot of times the patient is ill and it may seem uncomfortable asking for payment under those circumstances but it is not unreasonable.

Even though this may be very time-consuming for the office to handle, it really makes a difference during this time of year when you would normally be receiving payment from the insurance company but many offices have implemented this policy and have seen a big difference in their cash flow. The office will truly benefit and it's also a way to keep your patient portion accounts receivable lower.

Marina Hall is a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) and founder of MariAnn Medical Billing Service. To read a full "Interview with Marina Hall" visit her website at http://www.inscoding.com/aboutus.php

You can also read about the great value MariAnn Medical Billing Service is delivering at http://www.inscoding.com/testimonials.php

Source: EzineArticles
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