You can do this on your own.
You have a secret weapon.
You have a fail proof strategy to increase cash in 10 days or less.
Your strategy is to offer prompt pay discounts to entice auto insurance companies, workers compensation carriers and self pay patients to pay their balance quickly. Once you learn how to increase your collections using discounts, you can decide to use it anytime you need a jump in cash flow or add it to your normal processes. Offering prompt pay discounts enables your medical office to meet financial obligations, expand and grow and improve your overall accounts receivable operations.
Auto or Liability Insurance Companies
When your patient is relying on auto insurance to cover their treatment due to a motor vehicle accident, you can be their advocate. Auto insurance companies can take months or years to settle hoping to avoid spending out as much money as possible. Patients end up paying out of pocket for costly expenses or with ruined credit due to unpaid medical bills. In the end, the auto insurance will still settle for less than the patient owes. Some facilities pick the short stick and get little or no reimbursement at all. Ins some instances the medical office will have to accept only the med-pay.
This can be avoided by being proactive regarding auto insurance claims instead of reactive.
- Evaluate the patient on the first visit to determine what type of treatment plan they will need.
- Based on the initial evaluation estimate the costs for the entire treatment plan.
- Contact the auto insurance carrier that is responsible for the treatment and offer to settle the entire treatment plan for a portion of the costs if paid within 10 business days or by the end of the month, whichever is greater.
Depending on any number of factors, you could offer anywhere from 5 to 15% off of the entire treatment plan. You could also put certain conditions on the discount such as lowering it by 5% if not paid within your specified time frame. Once the word gets out that your office is willing to settle if payment is made quickly, you won't have to send out discount letters anymore. The auto insurance carriers will be contacting you to pay early.
Workers' Compensation Carriers
Workers' compensation claims are no different from any other health insurance claim. Even though workers' comp has laws and guidelines it must follow doesn't mean you have to wait for them to pay. If workers' comp is required by your state law to pay within 45 days, it doesn't mean you have to wait that long to receive payment.
The most important thing to do is become familiar with your states workers' compensation laws because they do vary from state to state.
First, find out what percent of the bill, the workers' comp is required to pay. Most carriers have to pay 100% of the bill although there are some exceptions. Use this information to determine what type of discount you are willing to offer. When contacting the workers' comp adjuster offer a discount only if they can pay the claim 15 days sooner than the state requirement. They already have time limitations so you must be strict about your deadline for getting that claim paid in order for the discount to apply.
Remember these important steps before filing your claim to workers' compensation.
- Make sure to get detailed information about the injury at the patient's first visit. Time, date, and location of the injury are very important.
- Contact the employer to make sure the injury was reported by the patient and get all of the information to file the claim to the Workers' Compensation Insurance. These details include the name of the insurance carrier, the address and phone number, the adjusters name and the claim number.
- Make sure the workers' comp treatment is documented as "workers' comp" in the medical record to differentiate between other medical treatment.
Self Pay Patients
Large deductibles or out of pocket expenses leave a heavy burden on patients. Some of your patients may find themselves uninsured due to sudden unemployment. Offering your self-pay patients discounts to pay their balance in full will not only help bring in the cash fast but also help your patients honor their financial obligations.
Patient collections can be very tricky to handle. If the medical office decides to offer discounts to patients it is very important for medical office managers to develop a written financial policy in place. Having a written policy ensures that all patients are treated the same. If a clear policy is not in place that specificially outline the conditions for offering patient discounts, a medical office can be a target for a lawsuit.
One suggestion is to offer a 25% discount for patients with balances over $500.00 and greater than 90 days. Depending on many factors, the medical office can use different criteria for offering patient discounts. The idea, however, is to make the terms appealing for patients to get them to pay.