5 common patient collections mistakes
It wasn't long ago when patient collections were viewed as a minor concern in ASCs. After all, reimbursement was strong, and what patients owed for their care was relatively low. No one wanted to leave a $50 co-pay and $250 deductible on the table, but if only some of this could be collected and the rest written off, it wasn't the end of the world. Patient financial responsibility accounted for a small percentage of what ASCs expected to collect for a procedure, so even if collections came up a little short in this area, profit on the case would still be high.
Then reimbursement started tightening while patient financial responsibility rapidly increased. Among the key findings from Black Book's 2017 revenue cycle management surveys: Since 2015, patients experienced a nearly 30 percent increase in deductible and out-of-pocket maximum costs. It won't be surprising to see that figure rise even further when Black Book releases its 2018 revenue cycle management surveys.
With margins tightening thanks to the downward shift in reimbursement and upward shift in patient financial responsibility, ASCs are under significant pressure to collect all the money that patients owe for their surgical care. Coming up short is no longer an option when, in some specialties, even just a few dollars can be the difference between a profitable and unprofitable procedure.
Unfortunately, there are many potential mistakes ASCs can make that may result in a poor performance in patient collections. Here are five of the most common such mistakes.