Does your practice have a written patient payment policy that clearly states patient payment options and the consequences of not paying? Do you enforce your policy, or do you tend to allow exceptions? If your practice is wishy-washy about your payment policy, you essentially are allowing each patient to make his or her own policy. What other business allows its customers to decide when and how they will pay?
A written payment policy gives your staff a clear path to follow when collecting fees from patients. They can even practice explaining its terms to patients and responding appropriately to patients’ requests for exceptions. With a firm policy to back them up, staff will be more successful at collecting patient fees. When applied consistently, a written policy also lends credibility to your collection efforts. By stating its terms in language patients can understand, the policy averts frustration and confusion among patients. They are less likely to dispute their bill when the options and consequences of not paying are laid out in advance.
And, finally, a properly written policy can ensure regulatory compliance within your practice.