On a recent list serve, a hospital billing manager indicated, “We were a little surprised that when we took the time to train our Customer Service reps (as opposed to Collections staff) to ask patients if they wanted to pay their bill by credit card or eCheck, Customer Service became one of our highest volume sources for self-pay payments.” Are you missing out on an important revenue stream? Is your staff trained how to professionally take patient payments?Where do you have capability to accept patient payments?
Take a quick walk through your business office and you’ll see a hub of activity and perhaps a lot of paper. Medicare, Medicaid and insurance payments have been automated for many years via the ANSII 835. However, patient payment is on the rise and thus, so is manual labor to post those payments.
Yet another facility has made headlines due to a recent security breach of 7,000 patient records. However, this time the breach was for financial data.
There are as many ways to calculate bad debt as there are debtors. No matter if your definition is at 60, 180 or 365 days, there are many measures that hospitals and clinics can take to reduce bad debt.
The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is developing best practices for all staff interaction with patients regarding financial matters. HFMA offers specific, actionable ideas for time-of-service inside and outside the Emergency Department, interactions prior to service and general best practices (shown below). All of these ideas can have a profound impact on your revenue cycle management. Ensuring you have the tools in place to support patient pay and using these best practices will have a positive impact to your patient A/R.
Numerous years ago, patients paid “reasonable and customary” rates based upon a Chargemaster. The Chargemaster, also known as Charge Description Master (CDM), as defined by Wikipedia, is a comprehensive listing of items billable to a patient or a patient's health insurance provider. The Chargemaster typically serves as the starting point for negotiations with patients and health insurance providers of the amount of money that will actually be paid for the services. It was once described as "the central mechanism of the revenue cycle" for health care. Nowadays, health care is stuck in a complex, antiquated, reimbursement methodology designed by, and for, the insurance industry.