With the new medical debt policy being adopted by major credit rating bureaus, it may no longer be worthwhile to turnover uncollected patient balances to collection agencies for small practices. In addition, the uncollected patient balance typically is under $500 and may not be eligible to be reported against the patient's credit history under the new policy.
Sending progressively harsher statements multiple times may not work as before. It is imperative that patient balances are collected diligently at the front desk or at the kiosk. Most patients have debit or credit cards that can be used to implement Card On File (COF) policies that enable patient balances to be charged against the card. Patient balances must be addressed at each visit to prevent the build-up of credit that becomes difficult to resolve later.
It is challenging to collect patient balances from hospital patients who do not have a continuing relationship with the Physician. Therefore, it is worthwhile negotiating with hospitals to cover uncollected balances where you have no control in the financial counseling process.
With changing times, old practices need to be adapted to stay financially healthy for small practices.