RCM tip of the day: Humanize the debt collection process

Despite rigorous collections processes, there will always be non-payment accounts. Consider adding the human touch when approaching patient debt.

Sunni Patterson, President, RMK Holdings: Even with efficient processes in place, some accounts will result in non-payment. For this reason fine-tuning your collections approach is a must-do for recapturing many of those lost funds and maximizing your overall RCM. In our experience a more humanized and practical approach to debt collection is most effective (as opposed to the stereotypical robo-calls and hostility). Instead try these approaches: obtain a clear understanding of a patient's situation and why the bill remains unpaid, explain coverage benefit when an insurance decision occurs, establish three way calls with the insurance company to resolve issues or get questions answered, keep in mind what a patient may be going through (or went through), work with the responsible party on how to get the balance paid in the quickest way possible and follow up with the provider's billing office, patient's attorney or other third party as applicable.

If you would like to share your RCM best practices, please email Carrie Pallardy at cpallardy@beckershealthcare.com to be featured in the "RCM tip of the day" series.

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