A Book is Born and a Website is Reborn

At last, here is what all the shouting’s about!  A new website and a new book all in one day.  Just for kicks, I interviewed myself about these changes.

Q: Mary Pat, why all the changes all at once?

A: I didn’t start out to publish a book and redo my website all at once, it just happened that way.  My site has been online for almost  a year and a half now and after spending lots of time on the web, I knew I wanted to make some changes to my site – clean it up a little, and hopefully make it easier to read and navigate.

Q: What about the book?

A: I’ve been working on the book for about 9 months, and every day I have been reading about practices struggling with less reimbursement and more expense. Medfusion asked me to do a webinar on patient collections and I thought it was a perfect time to get the book completed.

Q: Why an eBook?

A: I decided on an eBook because that’s what I prefer.  I like information on a specific topic and I like to be able to get to it immediately.  More of a cookie-sized topic, than a cake.  I love big business books full of information, but it takes me forever to read them.  I wanted something that a manager could see, buy and start using all in the same day.

Q: You mentioned a webinar for Medfusion – when is that happening?

A: The webinar was November 17th and is archived on the Medfusion website so you can listen to it whenever you want.

Q: I see you’ve added a new tab called “Vendor.”  What’s that all about?

A: I’ve been wanting to give my readers access to vendor names in categories and now seemed like a good time to do that.  Right now there are 6 categories: Employee Background Check, Eligibility Products, External Financing, Creditworthiness Products, Payment Portals, and Special Resources.  As time goes on I will add more categories so readers can access vendors in a certain category in one place.

Q: Are these vendors that you are recommending?

A: No, these are vendors that I’ve checked to make sure they have the service or goods that fit in the category, but I’ve not screened the vendors for my readers at all.  Maybe down the line I’ll have some sort of feedback on vendors, but for now, I’m just listing them.

Q: Why didn’t you put the vendors in your book?

A: Because the field is always changing and vendors are coming and going all the time.  I don’t think that the print medium is the right place for listing vendors for such a fluid and changing market as healthcare.

Click here to view “The Smart Manager’s Guide to Collecting at Check-Out.”

A Sneak Peak at My New Book: Step-by-Step Instructions for Collecting Patient Balances in Your Medical Practice

From the Introduction:

It has never been more urgent or more difficult to collect patient-responsible balances.  The combination of high-deductible health insurance plans increasing in popularity and the massive loss of medical benefits creates a pressing need for medical practices to re-evaluate patient collections.  A strong collections program and the timely collection of patient balances are critical to the viability of the modern healthcare practice – important to the communities served as a source of patient care and a contributor to the local economy.

Healthcare has traditionally been a care-first and collect the money later type of business.  Traditionally, payments from insurance companies were enough to keep medical practices viable, and many practices did not worry about patient collections.  Today, the financial responsibility for payment for health services is swinging further and further toward the patient, and often without many patients  understanding what is happening.

The Practice Should Assume Responsibility for Being the Insurance Expert for the Patient
Learn the payers, learn the plans, and help the patient understand what coverage and financial responsibilities they have.  This book does not focus on filing claims, but insurance cannot be separated from the total payment process.  To know the patient-responsible portion, the practice must know what the insurer/payer will pay.  The ideal relationship is one where the patient relies on the practice for straightforward, non-biased information about paying for healthcare.

Disclose All Fees and Terms of Service Before the Patient Incurs a Financial Responsibility
Patients have the right to know your prices, compare your prices with other healthcare providers and make an informed decision about spending their money.  It is part of the practice of healthcare that the patient acknowledges (whether they have the means to pay or not) that they have received something of value.

Remember ”“ Your Practice Is In the Business of Compassion
Patients are not buying televisions or cars from you, they are buying the most important thing in the world ”“ good, quality healthcare services and advice.  Whether you believe that healthcare is a privilege or a right, always temper patient collections with the knowledge that paying for healthcare for themselves or their loved ones is a personal and often emotional transaction.

The Book: “The Smart Manager’s Guide to Collecting at Check-Out” $39.95

Released this Monday, November 16th, the book is only available for download here on this website.

This is not your traditional textbook!  It is an eBook  – downloadable in minutes and ready to start using immediately.  It contains bookmarks that make it easy to jump to specific sections,  and you can print only the pages you want.

This book will help any type of medical practice develop a front-end collections program.  The 30 day program can be intense, but for most medical practices, the need to start a patient collections program is so pressing that the sooner the program can be launched the better.

The book addresses the components of setting up a front-end collection program that is ready to launch in 30 days.  Depending on the resources (people, time, energy) that you have in your practice, your program could launch in more or less than 30 days.  Your timetable could change if you have significant barriers or insufficient resources, or if you elect to take the planning more slowly.

An integral part of the book is the calendar that you will use to complete the program within the time frame.  I supply the steps, the worksheets, the templates and the 30 day calendar, and you add or subtract days as needed.  The steps are in order for a reason, but you should rearrange them based on your practice’s needs and resources.

Packed with templates, worksheets and examples, this book leads you every step of the way through designing a program appropriate for your practice or healthcare entity.

In conjunction with the book launch, I will also be unveiling my brand-new website!  My tech guy has outdone himself in designing a more user-friendly and intuitive site.  See you on Monday!

Click here to view “The Smart Manager’s Guide to Collecting at Check-Out.”