October 11, 2012
Effective Financial Policies and Procedures
The basic elements of an effective medical office financial policy are that it must be easily to follow for both staff members as well as patients. These policies should be explained to staff and patients so that each understands what is expected of them. These policies should include explanations for the patient as to how the practice is going to handle the following things. The collection of copayments, deductibles, and past-due balances, financial arrangements for unpaid balances, charity care or use of a sliding scale for patients with low incomes, payments for services not covered by insurance, prepayment for services, day-of-service discounts or discounts to patients with financial need, acceptance of cash, checks, money orders, and credit or debit cards, special circumstances for automobile accidents and nonassigned insurance. When these things are supported by clear and precise office procedures a financial policy can not only improve the payments that are received it can lead to less unpaid bills. When these policies and procedures are not followed by the staff of a medical practice it can lead to patients not having a clear picture of what is expected of them and also them not paying their bills when they are due. In order for a medical practice to have a financial policy that is effective it needs to be understood by all of the parties involved. One recommendation that I would make to ensure that there is an effective alignment between the policies and procedures of a medical office are that the staff be trained in the proper ways to explain the financial policies to the patients of the practice and that they have a proper understanding themselves. Another suggestion that I would make is to give each patient a copy of their financial responsibilities so that they can go over it at their leisure so that...