Do You Have Existing Policies in Place?First, you should check your existing policies to see what standards you have communicated to your patients. Does your financial policy include one or more payment plan options? Late fees? A transfer of past due invoices to a collections agency? If the latter, at what point do you send invoices to collections: after 60 days? 90? 180? Make sure your actions comply with the policy your patients sign when they come into your ophthalmology practice.
Review Your OptionsNext, think about what your ophthalmology practice can do. If you have patients who have been very loyal in the past, particularly if they have suffered a job loss or income decline due to COVID-19, could you afford to accept payment over a period of 6-12 months? What about reducing your profit margin? Do your patients qualify for financial assistance from an outside agency? There may be sources for financial assistance on a local, state or federal level. Do you have information on hand that you could share with them? Does the patient’s insurance plan allow for forgiveness or waiver of the insurance copayment under certain circumstances? Most public and private insurers do not! In those cases, forgiving an outstanding copayment can get you into serious trouble with the insurance company and the law. If this is something you are considering, make sure you get a green light from the insurance company in writing first.
Update Your Policy To Better Meet Your Patients’ and Practice’s NeedsIf the options you have uncovered based on your current policy don’t meet your needs and those of your patients, it may be time to update the policy. Though this won’t help those patients who are already overdue with their payments, it may alleviate the situation in the future. Reach out to colleagues to see how they handle these situations, especially considering the added hardships caused by the pandemic. Connect with a professional organization to learn about their suggestions. Then update your policy as you see fit, keeping advice from your lawyer in mind.
Bills that are Overdue NowEven if you are updating your policies, you might need to proceed with the collections process on invoices that are past due now. Some practices do this entirely in house, while others outsource collections after a certain number of invoices and phone calls. Hiring an agency is usually more efficient than using your team’s time for outreach to patients. A skilled and experienced collections agency knows how to work with patients to preserve your relationship while still collecting as much as possible. At Alacrity Collections, we specialize in collecting on overdue healthcare invoices and work with ophthalmology practices just like yours. We do it “the nice way” and even receive the occasional thank-you note from patients. We are here to contact your patients to recover as much as possible of the outstanding debt when you need us.
Alacrity Collections Is Here to Help Your Ophthalmology PracticeAlacrity Collections is proud to be a leader in debt collections since 1982. Chasing overdue invoices is not an effective use of your time. Let our team help so you can work on running and growing your ophthalmology practice. We achieve great results that are over twice the national average and treat everyone we contact with dignity and respect. We work tirelessly to protect your brand and improve your net returns. To learn more about our services and get in touch, please call us at 1-800-752-9663 or set up a phone appointment directly on our representative’s calendar via this link: www.calendly.com/hheemann.
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