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New Year, Familiar Challenges

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New Year, Familiar Challenges

By: Allison Scheier, Client Relationship Manager

The start of the New Year can be a tough time for medical practices. Patients are sicker (I’m looking at you, flu season), the quality reporting period begins anew January 1st, and deductibles reset to zero. Resetting deductibles weren’t worrisome a decade ago when overall patient responsibility was low, but with the popularity of high deductible insurance plans rising, patients carry an ever increasing amount of financial responsibility.

Pursuing these payments has healthcare providers struggling to realize money for their services, and potentially losing out on collections.

Why have providers historically faced difficulty collecting payment from patients, when compared to insurers? Where commercial carriers make payments at regular intervals, generally thirty to forty-five days after the claim is submitted, patient funds are far less predictable. Therefore, they require far more effort to obtain.

What can you do to make collecting patient payments easier in February and March? First, put strong revenue cycle processes in place to track outstanding claims and send patient statements in a timely manner. Additionally, consider giving patients multiple ways to pay their bill. Saisystems Health can help you create clear messaging for patients regarding their responsibility to pay, and follow up to make sure the cash comes in the door. Contact Sam at 203-567-5260 or email smanns@health.saisystems.com to get started.