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This content comes from Conomikes Associates Inc., a resource on practice management tips for community physicians, practice managers and medical office staff for more than 20 years.
Patient self-pay as a percentage of total health care revenue has nearly tripled in the last five years. According to recent research, it’s now about 30 percent of an average practice’s overall revenue. That’s a huge change in just a few years that practices need to be able to handle. Here are some tips to deal with this important revenue trends.
- Establish a fee schedule for self-pay (i.e., patients without insurance). Recommendation: create a fee schedule that matches the fees paid by the average of your top three payers.
- When making appointments, always ask patients about their insurance plans. If they do not have insurance, let them know the range of fees they can expect to pay (Level 3 to 5, New or Established Patient).
- Reminder calls should also remind them of the fee to be paid.
- At check-in, front-desk staff lets them know that they will be collecting when the service is completed (since you are not certain about the extent of the service).
- As they check out, front desk staff can use the physician’s Encounter Form to state and collect the fee.
These procedures should be understood by everyone at the practice, so that they are prepared to answer any questions of the self-pay patients.