Maintaining the flow of revenue is important for your hospital or healthcare organization to keep its lights on and retain the professional staff that your patients depend on. This means being able to collect the full patient responsibility for each visit as quickly as possible. Of course, being backed up by expert assistance can help you to make the patient collections process much easier, but there are a few best practices you can follow to be sure you aren’t wasting valuable staff time attempting to collect from patients with no ability to pay.
With 1 in 5 insured Americans struggling to pay their bills on time, most practices and hospitals resort to calls as their chosen technique to recover debts. While it is an effective method, it rarely delivers the expected results when your employees approach collection calls without first putting a strategy in place.
You need to properly prioritize patient accounts and employ collection strategies that will help to maintain good patient relationships. One such way you can do that is with the use of a propensity to pay scoring method.
What is Propensity to Pay?
Propensity to pay is a mechanism that is widely applied by financial experts to identify which patients are most likely to make payments – specifically payment in full – and the strategy is fast gaining momentum in the healthcare field.
No formal scoring model available? No problem. If you do not currently have a partnership with a professional healthcare debt collection agency or internal scoring tools, it is still possible to prioritize patient accounts manually. When determining which patients to contact, review files for these two critical elements:
Past Payment History: If the patient has a history of care with your organization, they also have a payment history. Do they generally pay on time? Establish payment arrangements? Or are they regulars on your “past due balance” list? Their past behavior will give you a good indication of what you can expect from them in handling their current balance.
Age of the Balance or Days in AR: The older an account is the less likely you are to recover it in full.
Determining a patient’s propensity to pay, even through a brief review of their account history, can help to prioritize patient collections, making the whole process highly efficient. Additionally, knowing a patient’s propensity-to-pay score allows you to have a more open and honest conversation with them about their payment obligations right from the start. Such a conversation shows compassion and sets them up to succeed in paying their medical debts.
The other advantage that employing a propensity to pay model gives you is that it offers the opportunity to set up a payment arrangement that is both manageable and affordable for the patient. This helps to significantly reduce bad debt write-offs. When they can pay off their debt on time, your staff can increase revenue, while taking less time conducting needless follow-ups. All this saves your facilities time and money while ensuring patient satisfaction.
Each patient is different, and this makes it very important to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. A propensity to pay model that has been properly structured will help you to be more effective.
Employing a patient collections strategy that allows you to prioritize patient accounts will enable you to see improvements across your revenue cycle process and achieve better patient satisfaction levels.
Partnering with a collections agency that has both modeling expertise and the data needed to quickly implement propensity to pay models will help to get up-to-date details, allocate a precise score, and ensure that patients’ needs are adhered to all through the process. This is exactly what Revco Solutions guarantees. In addition to our long history of successful, patient-friendly collections, we also embody the standards of knowledge, empathy, and professionalism that set us apart in this industry. Contact us today for additional advice or to get help with patient collections.