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Handling NSF Checks


Receiving a nonsufficient funds or NSF check is simply something out of any organization’s control unless you decide that you will not accept them at all. However, there are still a large amount of people that write personal checks to pay their medical bills.


Having a well-developed financial policy can aid in minimizing the number of NSF checks your facility receives. In a medical office, if you have a streamlined upfront collection policy, most of your patient’s know ahead of time of their financial responsibility which makes them better prepared to make payment.

When patients are put on the spot to make a payment, they don’t have a chance to check their bank account to make sure there are sufficient funds available. Also, making the patient aware ahead of time allows time to view their finances and reschedule or make payment arrangements if necessary.

When it happens

So you’ve taken all the precautions to prevent an NSF check and one still slips thru, you still have options.

  1. Call the patient. Most likely the patient will know before you do that they have a bounced check. You are not by any means telling them something they don’t know. Politely request that they resolve the matter as soon as possible. Offer to waive the NSF fee if they make payment within 5 day.
  2. Send a certified letter. Remind the patient that they are a valued customer and you would like them to resolve the matter without further incident. Be sure not to threaten the patient in any way.
  3. Contact the bank. If attempts to contact the patient are unsuccessful, wait a few days and contact the bank to find out if there is enough money to cover the check. If so, return the check to the bank and have it cashed versus depositing it in your account.
  4. Hopefully, this will resolve the NSF check ordeal. If not, further steps can be taken.

  5. Forward the account to a collection agency.
  6. File the claim with small claims court.
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