7 Best Practices for Co-Pay Collection

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Margaret Dowling, vice president and product team manager for PNC Healthcare, a division of PNC Bank, shares her company's seven tips to increase collection of co-pays and improve your revenue cycle.  

1. Collect before service is rendered. Collect payments and coinsurance before service is provided

2. Train staff. Train staff to ask for the copayment as part of the registration process: "Thank you for updating your information. Now, how would you like to make your copayment today?"

3. Communicate clearly.
Install polite but clear signage: "Please make your copayment here. We accept credit cards, debit cards, cash and checks."

4. Sweeten the deal.
Consider offering a reward at the time of copayment, such as a wallet-sized health tip card, sweet treat or gift item.

5. Make payment easy.
Ensure that payment technology, such as a credit card terminal, is installed at every point where a patient might need to pay and is working consistently.

6. Use technology.
Investigate new technology, such as combination terminals that process credit card transactions and provide "point of sale" conversion of paper checks to electronic deposits to streamline transactions.

7. Incent good behavior.
For larger practices and health systems, start an internal incentive program focused on increasing the overall percentage collection of copayments.

Learn more about PNC Healthcare.


Read more advice on hospital revenue cycle maintenance:

-7 Ways to Save More Money in the Revenue Cycle

-9 Strategies for Maintaining Profitability in 2011 and Beyond

-5 Best Practices for Improving Your Hospital's Revenue Cycle

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