How does your practice stack up in patient collections? A recent survey of nearly 300 U.S. healthcare practices asked a wide range of questions concerning their past due accounts, including how they contact past due accounts, when they reach out to those patients and their level of success in collecting that debt. Survey responses pointed to the following trends in how past due accounts are managed throughout the industry:
When do practices contact their past due accounts?
As much as 25% of practices don’t proactively reach out to patients about their account balances before the 90-day threshold. Nearly 58% of practices note that they ask patients to make payment during their next visit, but any account resolution through this process is delayed until that patient’s next visit.
Collection agencies are not the answer
Practices that have partnered with a collections agency collect only 34% of their outstanding debt on average. However, that figure comes before subtracting the high fees of these agencies (sometimes ranging as high as 50%!) which often diminish that percentage considerably.
There’s room for improvement
75% of the practices surveyed feel that their collections efforts could be improved, and the most frequent reason for that response was the desire to contact accounts earlier in the delinquency cycle. Lack of time and staff resources is a big influence on these responses – “we need more automation”, “we need more help at the front desk”, etc.
All of this information combined with the knowledge that the average value of an overdue patient account is $400 indicates that there’s a huge value in collections efforts EARLY in the billing cycle. Click here to read the full report.
How does your practice stack up when it comes to collecting on patient accounts?