With patient self-pay of deductibles already difficult for doctors to collect, and health plan deductibles continuing to rise the amount you collect from a patient is important.
From 2009 to 2011, patient deductibles rose an average of 27% and are only beginning to take off. The higher deductibles allow employers to keep down premium rates, but any increase in self-pay is bad for physicians because it’s harder to collect and with the higher deductibles means a large share of physicians incomes are based on self-pay.
Here are some tips for managing rising deductibles in your office:
• Collect at the time of service – once the patient leaves the office, the likelihood of collection decreases.
• Deductibles are tricky, especially at the beginning of each year – be vigilant and well prepared at the beginning of the year when deductibles are at their highest.
• Have your front desk call ahead to get the deductible amount before a patient shows up.
• Have a solid collection plan in place, and stick to that plan daily.