Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 32% of Americans workers were already in medical debt. With the ongoing pandemic and many Americans facing unemployment, it’s expected that more Americans will face financial difficulty when it comes to paying for medical treatment.
If you are a medical practitioner, how is your collections process fairing during these times?
Managing your collections can be a full-time job ﹣ a burden on top of the challenge of providing medical care in a pandemic. Here are the signs you need a collection agency to help you collect more efficiently and keep your medical practice afloat.
Missed Payments Are on the Rise
If you are a doctor or own a medical practice, you may be seeing an uptick in missed medical payments. Worse, you may be struggling to manage delinquent accounts and suffering on the business side of your practice.
Collection agencies can play a role in lessening the load and effectively managing your accounts receivable. However, practices frequently turn to collection agencies prematurely. The role of a collection agency is to handle outstanding debt that has gone through the practice’s internal process without success.
If your accounts receivables are on the rise but are still manageable, now is the time to take action before they get out of hand. The cost of hiring a collection agency can be significant, but you may not need to go that far.
Before turning to an agency for assistance, establish effective ways to improve your collections process and start encouraging prompt payments from patients.
Your In-House Collections Process Is Ineffective
Facing an overload of delinquent accounts receivables is not where doctors and medical practitioners should be, especially when their primary concern should be treating patients.
When you aren’t collecting payment upfront, you are sending out statements afterwards. But if your practice is buried in delinquent accounts, it’s a telltale sign that your in-house collections process is ineffective.
- How long is it until you receive these payments?
- Do your patients understand their insurance and payment plan?
- Is your office reaching out to patients to remind them of missed or approaching payments?
- Is your office staff devoting too much time to collecting accounts receivables?
Reflect on these questions to help you decide whether it’s time to hire a collections agency.
You Devote Too Much Time to Your Accounts Receivable
With so many Americans facing financial insecurity, maintaining patient morale is a challenge. Your staff could be dedicating more time to attracting new patients or nurturing the relationships you already have with current patients.
Medical practices need to be as transparent as possible when it comes to payments and nonpayments. Establishing an effective payment policy is key, regardless of whether you hire a collections agency to help with your debt recovery. Here’s what your payment policy should entail:
- Who is responsible for payment
- How copayments/deductibles are handled
- When payments are due
- What will occur as the result of nonpayment
Make sure you are following up and reminding patients when their payments are due. You can also read up on why every medical practice needs a payment policy for more ideas on how to improve your collections process.
Your Bottom Line Is Suffering
Because many go without health insurance or already face crippling medical debt, more patients are reluctant to seek the medical care they need. As a result, you may be seeing more patients opt out of treatment due to financial insecurity.
Attracting new patients and getting them to pay for treatment on time is essential to your bottom line. Discussing the cost of treatment can be a sensitive subject for both physicians and patients. But patients may not have a full understanding of their payment policies, what’s expected of them, and what their options are.
If your practice is suffering from lower patient numbers, or if it’s struggling to recover debt or pay for business expenses, a collections agency can get you back on track so you can focus on what matters.
Is It Time to Hire a Collections Agency?
We’re in trying times, and for doctors and medical offices, fighting and preventing the spread of COVID-19 is only half the battle. With the help of a collections agency, you can recover debt faster and more efficiently.
Contact Kinum, Inc. today to learn more about how we can help you.