Asking for money has never been easy whether you need your amount back or the dues that you need. Apparently, it becomes awkward to ask and people often avoid asking for their own money. When it comes to asking for deductibles in a medical profession, avoiding asking for deductibles can seriously affect the revenue management cycle. The reality is to retain the RMC positively; physicians need to contact credentialing Services at the end of the day to meet the outstanding revenue imbalance.
On the other hand, patients relying on the insurance companies for their healthcare and treatment payables were more concerned about the deductibles as a huge portion of the deductibles have already been shifted on their pockets. According to an estimation, around 30% of total bills now have become their liability. This is where it becomes challenging to collect deductibles from patients and necessity to hire collecting agencies and maintain a check on deductibles through credentialing services. They eventually make effective financial policies while keeping the patients in contact at different avenues.
Liability of collecting deductibles from patients
An increase in technological advancements has made it even easy to verify identities and determine eligibility of a person’s insurance plans, identify the remaining benefits in the current insurance plans, and estimate treatment cost for the next appointments in line.
Validating the precise information prior to patients’ visits and utilizing the existing knowledge about deductible collections will ultimately improve the collection A/R and RCM process.
It is essential to make a pre-collection call to the patient and inform them about the ramming benefits and treatments that they can still have available and other questions that may need to collect payments later. Keeping a step ahead from patient visit will keep the RCM process smooth.
If you are struggling to meet the co-collection requirements and collecting deductibles to smoothly process your RCM, here are some tips for you to develop the script for the pre-collection process.
Tips to use for patient pre-collection scripting
While making scripts for pre-collecting from patients, ensure to involve front desk staff. Adhering to realistic expectations, effective training, and a sense of accountability, the front desk staff can help patients in participating in the RCM process.
For these trainings and scripting, these steps can be beneficial to look upon;
– BE empathetic – While you speak to your patients in-person or on phone call about deductibles for pre or post treatment, try to be empathic. Keep in mind that the person might be unwell at the moment, may have financial burden, or may not have information about the insurance plan he has having.
– Ask open ended questions – Ask if they are aware about the process. Instead of asking ‘Your account shows you have $300 due, are you planning to pay them today?’ you can say, ‘I see there’s a payable amount of $300, would you like to use your mastercard or visa card for the payment today?’
– Provide potions for payment – Train your staff to be humble and try to resolve the patient’s shortcomings. If you are asking to pay for the full amount (which you should to avoid financial problems later) give solutions according to your financial policies that work for you both. For instance;
o Providing financial options (visa, MasterCard, insurance etc.)
o Automated recurring payments
o Using existing financial information in the patient’s file.
– Maintaining eye contact – It’s important to make eye contact between your patients and participants. You have provided them the services so you deserve to be compensated fairly. There’s no need to feel bad while you ask for your own money.
– Make them comfortable – Take it as an opportunity to educate your patients whenever they ask questions about payments options or anything else. It will make your process easier knowing that you have given full information to the patient and they may keep this in mind before moving on to other treatment prior to their next visit.
– Prepare for objections – Objections and unworthy experiences happen on both sides. So be attentive to foreseeable circumstances and prepare your front desk staff to come up with reasonable responses. This will ultimately help the staff to handle the situation without any fear to proceed the whole process.
– Train in real time– While training your team in the meetings or conferences, develop exercises where your role plays the financial discussions between the staff and the patient in real time. Emphasis on the issue and use names of the departments and persons to contact for the issue in question.
– Adopt advancements of technologies – In the past decades, it was challenging to manage all the information correctly and maintain the accurate billing procedure. A number of advancements have been made to the billing process to make managing the RCM and A/R process easier and faster. It also takes part in patient’s satisfaction which ends up eventually in the timely collection of deductibles.
– Keeping all the financial information in hand – When asking about payables, keep all the financial information of the patient in quick reach. It will aid in counter checking the information the patient is providing at the moment.
Kaiser Family Foundation Health Benefit Survey in 2018 found out that patients’ liability of financial payments has been rising all these years. Family premiums of health insurance from employer-sponsored plans have risen to 5% as of 2017 in 2018. Where an employee contributing to the insurance was $5,547 on $19,616 premium plans.
However, individual coverage annual premium increases by 3% where workers’ average contribution is $1,186 over a $6,896 premium plan.
In addition, the same survey revealed that covered employees also have deductibles attached to their plans with the average of $1,573 on a single person. On the other hand, 26% of covered workers have deductibles of over $2000.