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3 Steps on the Path to Improving Hospital Collections

Change is tough. It’s much easier to continue to do things the way they’ve always been done. But when your hospital is working hard to collect more from patients, change is the only way to make a difference.

Of course, that’s not easy.

1. Start, by tracking additional information. Hospitals already know some of the numbers: the number of patients who pay, the number who don’t. Here are some other things to consider tracking:

  • Reduction in outstanding receivables
  • Increase in clean claims
  • Increase in point of service collection
  • Increase in patient satisfaction scores

2. Next, look for “small wins.” These are small, incremental changes that show you’re on the right track, that their hard work and commitment to change is paying off. This will help motivate the team to continue on this more difficult path.

For example, if you receive a letter from a patient who says thanks for taking the time to explain her bill, share it with everyone. Let them know someone appreciates the effort they’ve made. If outstanding receivables drops for the first time in three months, tell the team. If the number of clean claims increases just slightly, be sure to make sure everyone knows.

3. Don’t give up. One healthcare company who worked with Professional Recovery Consultants changed their collections process and increased their cash flow by $400,000. Their changes included:
Focusing on methods to ensure patients better understood the services they would receive and their payment responsibility.

  • Setting goals and timelines.
  • Centralizing scheduling.
  • Reviewing their current in-house software capabilities and their technology.
  • Setting up a separate pre-encounter service center.

After making these changes, they increased their cash flow by $400,000. But they didn’t stop there. Instead, they are continuously identifying weak points and are working to improve.

How will you change your collection process?

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