Collecting patient liability payments

As detailed in the section “A New Patient Population,” the recent implementation of online state health insurance exchanges may bring new patient populations into the health care system—requiring practices to collect patient liability payments from more individuals with high-deductible plans. To do this effectively, independent practices need a systematic approach to patient collections.

By following these three essential tips, independent practices can begin to address and improve their patient collections:

1. Create a policy that describes when the practice expects the patient liability portion of payment, and offers discounts to patients who pay at the time of service or use cash.

2. Have tools for swift eligibility checking, a patient portal for easy online payments, scripts that staff can use when collecting patient liability payments, real-time adjudication, and automatic payment set-up.

3. Ensure that collecting patient liability is part of the practice workflow by helping staff understand the importance of patient liability payments, and providing scripts for front desk staff to use when talking with patients.

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