Don’t let overdue accounts die on your physician’s desk

If you have a well-defined collection process in writing, as you should, it probably requires that you give delinquent account information to the responsible physician before sending those accounts to a collection agency. The physician can then review the medical record to ensure that there is no overriding reason—such as a potential malpractice problem—for handling an account outside your normal process.

While this advance review rule makes sense, it sometimes interferes with your staff’s ability to effectively handle those accounts. Physicians too often become the stumbling block as they fail to give the accounts the attention they require. Being terribly busy, they tend to let reviewing overdue accounts slide; the accounts sit on their desk, sinking deeper into a pile of papers.

Instead, consider passing the accounts to the physician only on a “veto system.” Include with those records a note that the overdue accounts will go to the collection agency on a stated date—typically a week after the account is given to the physician—unless he or she instructs the staff not to do so. Build that time into your collection routine so accounts will move to collection on schedule unless the doctor says otherwise.

This will help you keep overdue billings moving, instead of dying on the doctor’s desk. The veto approach allows physician approval without stalling the entire process.

This nugget was adapted from Getting Paid, from Advisory Publications, a division of HCPro, Inc. To order, click here or call our Customer Service Department at 800/650-6787 for more information.

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