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Collecting co-pays and responsible portions from patients is uncomfortable for many in the front office, and for clinicians as well.  Unfortunately, choosing to avoid the pain of collecting can land a private practice in a world of hurt, especially in our current economic environment.

This article from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) speaks to some ways to make the collections process a bit easier, more professional, and systematic – ensuring that your practice won’t “see red” at month end.

Developing and implementing a sound collection policy is vital to running a successful practice. If staff is not well informed and patients not educated on payment expectations, the likelihood of late payment or nonpayments increases. Ensure that your practice’s terms of payment are clearly stated in writing for both staff and patients. If you don’t have a systematic invoice and billing system, get one. The faster you mail invoices, the sooner you’ll be paid. An invoice should clearly show the amount due and when payment is expected, otherwise it will fall to the bottom of a patient’s payment stack.