Healthcare continues to be a controversial topic. Between health insurance, co-pays, and flex cards, the benefits can become confusing for the consumer. Consumers are often surprised by medical bills and unable to pay them. According to Health Exec, more than 90% of healthcare consumers were surprised by a medical bill in 2018, while nearly three-quarters were confused by a bill’s content and more than half could not pay a bill in full if it totaled more than $1,000.
Just as the consumer needs protection, so does the provider. Unpaid bills can be detrimental to healthcare organizations.
Sometimes it’s not just the benefits that are confusing, but often patients are not comfortable with the technology many providers are using for payment collection. This can also impact payment collection.
Common Reasons for Unpaid Medical Bills
In addition to the reasons outlined above, an article in Modern Healthcare sites these as some common issues for unpaid bills:
- Insurance is covering less than they used to, so patients are responsible for more
- Medicaid cuts and the repeal of the individual insurance mandate influence coverage and payment
- Rise in healthcare costs overall
To proactively address these issues, providers are consulting with patients upfront about cost to help them understand what is covered, what will be owed out of pocket, and what individual’s financial situations are. Then, providers can work with patients to create payment plans or perhaps reduced-cost care.
How to Address Medical Debt Collection
No matter the reason or the approach, the bottom line issue is that medical bills often go unpaid. Because of this, practices suffer, sometimes having to shut their doors. If your practice is having a difficult time with unpaid bills, it may be time to partner with a debt collection agency.
During the debt collection process, it is vital to keep records, document each interaction, and follow compliance rules and regulations. A professional agency has experience doing this along with the background and skills to implement collections in a professional, yet compassionate way.
Providing a compassionate approach and simple ways for your patients to pay can make all the difference. Though it may seem like another expense, partnering with a collections company can be the smartest solution to debt recovery.
Debt collection is a sensitive but necessary component of healthcare. A practice cannot function without revenue, and unfortunately, medical debt is exceptionally high in the U.S. With the help of a professional debt collection agency, your practice can begin to recover money owed. Our professional staff at TSI would love to help you in this area. Please contact us for more information and to learn more about healthcare debt collection.