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Patient engagement knowledge hub

See how the right patient engagement tools and techniques can help improve both clinical and financial results.

Using a medical collection agency

Ideally, medical practices wouldn’t have to resort to using the services of a medical collection agency. Of course, that would be preferred, but it’s not the reality.

However, before relying on a medical collection agency, to obtain outstanding payments from patients, medical practices should encourage timely payment by creating and communicating a clear self-pay policy, incorporating patient self-pay payment collection into the practice workflow, and using all available tools—with a self-pay portal highly recommend—to collect self-pay balances.

Only after making a reasonable and sustained attempt to collect payment, should practices then consider the services of a medical collection agency. Since the administrative cost of collecting money increases as time goes by, and the likelihood of a patient paying decreases, medical collection agencies should be forwarded any balances that are more than 120 days overdue, in an effort to collect outstanding payments as soon as possible.

Once a month, practices should review all patient balances that have aged over 120 days and send those accounts to the medical collection agency. Then, practices should regularly monitor the agency’s recovery rate and customer service skills to make sure they have the two attributes every collection agency should possess: Courteousness and effectiveness.

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