Posts Tagged electronic payment plans

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12 Ways to Supercharge Your Practice in 2012: #2 Stop Sending Patient Statements

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There are two things I’ve found over the years that medical offices have a hard time giving up.

One is the appointment book.

The other is patient statements.

My first experience with creating patient statements was placing patient ledger cards on the copier. The copies were folded and slid into envelopes and mailed to patients. Despite a bad photocopy of handwriting of several different people squashed onto skinny lines, patients routinely understood what the bill said and paid the total. That was 25 years ago.

Today the process of sending statements to patients is largely outsourced along with electronic claims, but it’s not very electronic. If we can get paid by insurance companies electronically, why not get paid by patients electronically?

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Posted in: 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Practice, Collections, Billing & Coding, Innovation

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Is Your Practice Ready to Be Cash Poor For the Next 30 Days? Here’s How to Change That!

January is a tough time for independent medical practices for several reasons:

  • In private practices, the physicians typically don’t carry over any cash from year to year, so the practice starts in January from a cash position of zero.
  • Most deductibles begin in January – if practices don’t collect deductibles at time of service, they find themselves hurting because their revenue goes way down.
  • The Medicare debacle every year creates improper (lower) reimbursement as Congress struggles to the last possible minute over physician payments. (Here’s a simple yet helpful exercise for Congress. Congress, close your eyes and think of your favorite Medicare-age person. Is it you, your wife, your mother, your father, your neighbor or best friend? Now think of that person not being able to see a doctor when they need to because all doctors have opted out of Medicare and the only place they can get care is the local Emergency Room. It is a very ugly picture. What other profession is MADE to accept payment that is less than it costs to provide? Who do you love, Congress, who won’t be able to get care?)
  • Many annual maintenance contracts come due in January
  • ¬†Deals on large purchases are good (think EMRs) as vendors try to book revenue in the current year. Practices tend to make commitments to purchases now that will have to be paid for in the new year

What’s a practice to do?

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Posted in: Collections, Billing & Coding, Finance, Medicare & Reimbursement

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