Asking for some input: trying to explain to my doctors that seeing patients who refuse to pay isn’t a good idea
I am a medical biller who does A/R for two large practices. One practice in general never really sends patients to collections, which is fine, that is their right not to. They don't have many patients who get to that point anyways, so I can get why it'd be a net loss in profits to do collections.
My other practice, however, is the total opposite. They give me the green light to send patients to collections after at least 3 months of no payment, a courtesy call, and a courtesy email. Again, no problems on my end with that, I feel the patient has been given ample opportunity to arrange a payment plan by that point. I always offer payment plans to patients, since I don't know what their situation is, only stipulation is it must be monthly/communicating monthly. If you can't make one month's payment that's OK, let me know, I can put that note in my system and just try to pick the payment plan back up next month.
Anyways, I do this practices weekly statements meaning I look at the schedule and let them know if any patients coming in that week have a credit or balance due so they may try to get that settled before the patient gets the bill in the mail. There's always at least 2 or 3 patients I encounter while doing these weekly statements that I know have been sent to collections previously. (It's not always the same patients mind you but the point stands). There's one particular patient who complains every time how expensive the bill is and how it never goes down, but yet never pays any outstanding balance then gets seen at least once a month (they pay $50 in the office if they are in, but it is futile to move that $50 to an older balance until that DOS' claim processes because for all I know that appointment alone might end up being $50 patient responsibility). I digress. The main question is, as their AR specialist, is there a polite yet firm way to explain to my doctors that continuing to see these patients is essentially not going to get them paid their share? I'd appreciate some thoughts on this as I am at my wits end trying to get some of these patients to pay.
submitted by /u/HearingAidThrowaways