Medical Practice Management
Sep 22

Bad-debt Control Checklist to Improve Medical Practice Cash Flow


With what seems like a continuous decline in physician reimbursement, it is imperative that all practices collect every dollar they are entitled to.  However we all know this is not always the case. As such, mechanisms and systems need to be in place to avoid bad debt situations as much as possible. The following is a bad debt control checklist you can use to assess whether or not a medical practice is prepared to minimize its bad debts. Any “no” answers should be investigated immediately, with recommended solutions following soon thereafter.

Do written guidelines exist on the collection of self-pay accounts? ___ yes    ___ no

Are collection guidelines reviewed and revised periodically? ___ yes   ___ no

Are collection guidelines clear, concise and sufficiently detailed to serve as a working reference to personnel? ___ yes   ___ no

Do business office personnel receive formal training on collection guidelines before beginning work?

___ yes  ___ no

Do employees receive formal training on collection guidelines after any revision, or otherwise at least annually?    ___ yes   ___ no

Does management solicit employee suggestions for changes in policies and procedures?

___ yes  ___ no

Do exceptions to approved guidelines require the approval of management on a case-by-case basis?

___ yes  ___ no

Do self-pay guidelines allow monthly payments on certain accounts?___ yes      ___ no


Do self-pay guidelines specify the maximum number of payments that will be accepted?

___ yes  ___ no

If so, how many? _______________________

Do self-pay guidelines specify the minimum monthly payment amount that will be accepted?

___ yes  ___ no

If so, how much? ________________________

Do collection guidelines specify what action should be taken if a patient misses a payment?

___ yes  ___ no

 Does management support the collection guidelines, even when a patient complains?

___ yes  ___ no


About Reed Tinsley, CPA

As a top advisor to physicians, I help increase practice profits by delivering hands-on, expert medical accounting/tax support, practice counsel, and revenue-building strategies. Read more →