It’s an unfortunate fact that hospitals, physicians’ offices, and healthcare entities of all kind will be feeling the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for months to come. The cancellation of elective surgeries, a dramatic drop in the number of visits and stays, and a shift to telehealth are all contributing to the changing healthcare economic landscape. While it may seem counterintuitive at first glance, all of these factors (and more), prove that now is the perfect time to examine your organization’s debt recovery strategy and maybe make a few changes.
With estimates coming in at an approximate loss of $55 billion per month, it’s no secret that healthcare providers should be looking to pick up extra money anywhere they can. (aha.org) The uncertain future of telehealth reimbursement only provides more incentive. And with patient responsibility still clocking in as the number 3 payer, your collections strategy is critical to maintaining a steady cash flow. Whether your organization is already partnered with a bad debt agency, or you complete these activities in-house, consider the following:
- Ensure you /your vendor are following all relevant laws and guidelines.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, multiple states have banned organizations from making collection calls of any type to consumers. While most of these bans have since been lifted, a few are still in place, and it is vital you stay up to date with the latest changes to rules and regulations.
- Know how to approach your patients about this sensitive topic.
Debt collection is hard on a good day. During a pandemic, attempting to collect a medical debt can spell potential disaster. This is why it’s imperative to have highly trained, expert agents on the phones speaking with patients. Your bad debt agents (whether in-house or at your vendor) are the key to your success (or failure) to collect the money owed.
- Establish payment plans when necessary (and possible).
Oftentimes patients may not have the means to pay the full balance of their bill, but are eager to make some progress toward a payment in full. Payment plans offer a flexible, accessible option. Be sure that you/your vendor are carefully managing and monitoring all active payment plans, and have the resources for timely follow up on any that may default.
- Don’t be afraid to make a change.
The right debt collection partner can make all the difference – not only will they bring in more cash to your organization, but they’ll preserve the goodwill with your patients that is so vital during this time.
To learn more about how Credit Management Company can increase your cashflow, visit www.creditmanagementcompany.com.