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10 tips to help the collection process

Article

Collecting your copays at the time of the visit make for a financially secure office. Follow these steps to increase your likelihood of getting paid.

Collecting copays at the time of service helps make for a secure, financially stable office. To increase the likelihood of patients following your practice's payment protocols:

1. Provide a service that patients want to pay for.

2. Respect patients' time. Don't keep them waiting. Let them reschedule if necessary.

4. Have cash on hand to provide change.

5. Accept credit and debit cards.

6. Have pens and a calendar available on a countertop so that patients easily can set down their things and write a check.

7. Use a monthly bonus system to reward employees who efficiently and effectively collect patient payments. Cash is the lifeblood of all business, and medical practices are no different. When your employees realize their importance in the process, it helps motivate them and gets results.

8. When patients have a credit due, pay them promptly. In turn, they will remember when they owe you money.

9. Offer flexible payment plans for patients who can't pay at the time of service-proactive to the situation, not reactive after months of accumulated debt.

10. Ask patients who are more than 2 months in arrears to sign an agreement settling the debt, then require either a deposit or payment in full before subsequent visits.

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Jennifer N. Lee, MD, FAAFP
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health