What to Consider when Establishing a Financial Policy

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While outsourcing your billing department to a company like eAssist can significantly improve cash flow in your practice, it’s also important to develop a clear financial policy to help ensure patients understand when payment is due.

Here’s what you should considering when creating your practice’s policy:

Remember this is the cornerstone of your revenue system. Developing a clear financial policy will help ensure you get paid on time. The policy should make practice payment procedures clear without being condescending. It should leave no question about when and how payment is expected from patients.

Collect payment when services are rendered. This is ideal, but I know it can be difficult if you over-estimate how much insurance is expected to pay. When this happens, an outsourcing company like eAssist can help you collect the balance due. I also know some practices that allow patients to carry balances. If that’s the case in your office, be sure to establish parameters and stick to them. Don’t extend credit to patients indefinitely. While you think you’re helping them, you’re just creating a liability for your practice. Determine how long you’re willing to wait for payment and communicate that to your patients.

Don’t make the policy too strict. This can do your practice more harm than good. Let’s say you decide you’re not going to accept insurance and only offer a few payment options. When you do that, many patients won’t be able to go forward with treatment because they simply can’t afford it—and your practice productivity and revenues will take a hit.

Communicate your policy. Include the policy in the new patient packet and remind existing patients of the policy before they start restorative or elective services. I also suggest you post it on your practice website.

Collecting payment from patients can be challenging at times. Outsourcing this task will make a huge difference, as will making sure patients understand when payment is expected.

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