In today’s healthcare climate, with shifting healthcare regulations and high-deductible healthcare plans, more and more patients have to make out-of-pocket payments to receive treatment. For physicians, hospitals, and other facilities that do not always require patients to pay while signing in for an appointment, tracking down patients after providing care can be a complicated issue for many healthcare providers. This hurts a facility’s revenue cycle, which can mean millions of dollars of missed revenue every year.
Collecting payment prior to providing service seems straightforward in theory, but it is not being put into practice by many providers. A report by Availity found that although more than 90% of their 500+ surveyed providers (over 300 physician practices and 200 hospitals) claimed that enforcing point-of-service collections is crucial for their revenue, an alarmingly small portion of those providers actually collect payments before or at the time of service. The surveyed physician practices reported only collecting about 35% of POS payments, and the surveyed hospitals reported only 19% of POS collections.
Enforcing POS collections is key for fostering a healthier revenue cycle and earning a more favorable bottom line. Engaging with patients in the office at the time of service helps increase the chance of your practice receiving payment in a timely manner, or at all. When a patient pays for their treatment in full before receiving it, this immediate collection eliminates the need to follow up with that patient later on, which saves your staff time and ensures your facility receives the revenue it requires.
Defining expectations for payment at the point of service helps educate the patient about what they owe and increases the likelihood that they will pay. Even if a patient cannot pay their bill in full at the time of their visit, requiring POS collections ensures that at least part of the bill will be paid and gives the patient the opportunity to sign up for financing options at that time if needed. Further, this puts less stress on the patient and helps improve their patient experience.
Tips for Improving POS Collections:
Enforcing POS collections can overall improve your facility’s bottom line. As medical billing experts, we always utilize billing best practices to ensure your facility earns the revenue it requires. Here are our suggestions for enforcing POS collections:
- Re-train your staff to require patients to pay while signing in before service, or while finishing up their appointment
- Always have a staff member manning the front desk or the location where patients make their payments. A common reason POS payments do not occur is that busy staff don’t catch when patients leave without paying.
- Promote billing transparency and open communication with the patient. Your practice may benefit from hiring a staff member who is dedicated to reviewing payment details and requirements with patients to ensure transparency. A patient that understands what they owe and how to pay for it is more likely to pay.
Read more about how to increase POS and on-time payments in our post, “3 Medical Billing Best Practices for Receiving More On-Time Payments”.
Experience Billing Brilliance with ECLAT
ECLAT Health Solutions offers medical billing services that can help your practice earn a healthier revenue cycle and increase your rate of patient payments. ECLAT meets with you face-to-face to discuss your billing practices and remedy any errors that we identify. We can work on almost any EHR, and we always maintain HIPAA and HITECH compliance. We make your revenue goals our revenue goals and provide customized billing solutions that will work toward accomplishing these goals.
Contact us today to learn how to enforce POS Collections in your practice!