Many sleep practices can manage their accounts receivables more effectively because of improved accounting software, comprehensive EMR systems, and interactive patient portals. However, some practices still have not updated their financial policies and processes to communicate online payment options to their patients. To achieve patient compliance with payment policies and to ensure patients receive the best care, practices should adhere to the following suggestions:1
- Establish a Single Contact: Select a specific individual who will communicate with patients about their payments and financial arrangements. Providing face-to-face communication with each patient about how the practice manages patient payments prevents misunderstandings between both parties.
- Discuss with Patients: Practices need to determine beforehand what information is crucial and how much time should be spent with each patient. Make sure to emphasize the most important data in the policy and develop a relationship with the patient. Understanding a patient’s needs and preferences, such as making online payments or paying by check, can redirect the conversation.
- Collect Patient Data: During these discussions, the practice should record a patient’s email address, best method of communication, and preferred method of payment. The Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and other privacy regulations must be followed. Patient authorizations must be obtained and communications handled appropriately. Knowing the best way to communicate with each patient will help to create more efficient processes for the future.
- Build Patient Rapport: Make sure to outline how the practice will handle statements for the patient’s responsibility portion of care; a sample of the statement the patient will receive; and a business card or contact information provided by the representative who discusses the procedures with the patient. By following these guidelines, practices will achieve patient compliance with their payment policies and establish a stronger relationship between patients and providers.
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