A sound collection policy is vital to the success of every practice, especially in today's tough economic environment. Here are some tips for improving collections from the Medical Group Management Association :
- Write your practice's payment policy so it is understood and communicated accurately for staff and patients.
- Invoices should clearly show the amount due and when payment is expected. The faster you mail invoices, the sooner you'll be paid.
- Contact late payers every 10 to14 days to remind them of your payment terms.
- Have "address service requested" printed on your outgoing envelopes. The new address information will be provided by the post office when a patient moves without providing you a forwarding address.
- For more difficult collections situations, train your staff to be firm but courteous. You want to maintain a good relationship with your patient even when you expect to be paid in a timely manner.
- Some accounts will forever remain uncollected; learn to identify them early so you don't waste time and money pursing them.
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