There are a few basic elements for an effective medical office financial policy that should be known. One of the first elements of a good financial policy is that both the patients and the staff members can follow the policy. Another element should be that the policy tell the patient clearly what is expected of them when it comes to them making payments and what they may be responsible for, and how the office handles the payments process. A good policy would tell how to handle the collection of co-payments and other payments the patient is responsible for. It would explain financial arrangements for the unpaid balances. It would explain the sliding fee scale for the patients that are low income. It should explain about the payments for the uncovered services and prepayment for services.
It should explain their payment options (cash, credit, check, money order, etc…).
Medical office procedures support the financial policy by making it clear and making sure that it can be applied consistently by administrative and professional staff members. They also make sure the patient is educated from the start on the billing and reimbursement process. If the office does not support the financial policy this leaves lots of room for error. This could lead to many unpaid accounts or late payments on the accounts. It could lead to large amounts of money having to be paid in lawyer fees to sue the patient for the money that is owed. This leaves room for the patients not being able to understand what is expected of them when it comes to making payments on their accounts.
... practices start with thorough financial policies and procedures which explain patients’ payment responsibilities in terms that are easily understood. An effective medical office financial policy is one that ... both staff members and practice patients can ...
Some strategies the medical office could use would be to make sure to get a signature from the patient showing they truly understand what they are responsible that way they cannot come back later and say they did not know. This would make them understand what they are responsible for as far as deductibles and repayments and the office would have a signature showing they acknowledge their responsibility. They could also use clear and precise printouts so that everyone can read and it would list everything and if it is covered or it if the patient is responsible. The best strategy I could think of would be to follow all policies and procedures exactly so there is no room for any error in someone not knowing what was or was not supposed to be done.