Keeping a regular flow of incoming cash is vital to your medical practice’s ability to survive in the modern economy. You need to know when you can expect payment, so you can balance that with all of your mounting costs. Unfortunately, patients that don’t pay right away can throw your whole system out of whack. That is why it is important for your practice to send invoices and statements on a regular basis. Don’t believe that it will help? Well, we have put together a list of a few reasons why it is a good idea.
Send An Invoice Right Away
Invoices and statements should be sent out on a regular basis because if your customer has not been billed or reminded to pay in a timely manner, they will probably just not pay the bill. They need to receive the first bill not long after the service takes place so that they don't forget what the bill is for. Healthcare is unique in that payment is not typically received up front. In other service areas the customer is paying for their product before using it. In healthcare, it is just the opposite.
Unfortunately, having already received the service sometimes makes it is easy for the customer to forget about the payment. That is, unless they get a timely reminder from your office. This is where a computerized billing system comes in as a great reminder for dealing with invoices and statements. A systematic billing system can manage your accounts receivable. All accounting software has this capability to help you keep track of your accounts.
Send A Reminder Once A Month
After the initial bill the customer needs to receive an updated bill at least every 30 days so that they can either pay off the account or keep paying toward it in a timely fashion. If you start skipping months, your payment is not going to continue to come in on a regular basis. Also, your customer is likely to think that you are not paying attention to your bottom line and that you don't need payment.
It is vital to set up processes that minimize the risk of losing track of what's owed you. Some practices send out the initial bills shortly after the patient is seen, then bills are sent out on a monthly or bimonthly basis. The advantage of this is that by issuing billing statements promptly and then on an ongoing scheduled date of your choosing, it helps you to keep track of your receivables and manage cash flow.
Don't Be Afraid To Send To Collections
Most practices send out three monthly billing statements, then the option is to make a phone call to those who have not paid. You should attempt to establish some type of payment arrangement. If none can be worked out, then you can send it on to collections.
Though no one enjoys having to send a bill to collections, sometimes it is your only hope of receiving any payment. At the end of the day, while $100 isn’t as great as $500, it still beats $0.