January 6, 2010
Effective Financial Policies and Procedures
In a medical office, a financial policy must be easily understandable to the patient when reading his or her policy. In order to provide proper answers to any patient with a question regarding the material a trained staff member should be provided to inform the patient of what the policy means. The basic elements on effective medical office financial policy are that the patient and medical staff are aware of payments, arrangements made for unpaid balances, low income sliding scale acceptable forms of payment, such as cash, checks, credit cards or money orders. “These are used to pay the covered deductibles, copayments, and discounted service for people without insurance (McGraw-Hill, 2008).” Medical office procedures support financial policies by using a practice management program (PMP). The PMP uses keyed in information to update a “day sheet” that summarizes all transactions made in a 24 hour period. These day sheets are used by medical staff to create a patient statement which is a printed breakdown of how much a patient owes on their account. The breakdown may consist of deductibles, coinsurance, and fees. When a statement is entered into the PMP, clarity along with accurate information helps the patient to understand their bill and pay on time. The PMP office procedure supports the policy with staff members that are either professional or administrative (McGraw-Hill, 2008). Consequences that may arise when office procedures do not support the financial policy can include fraud. Having multiple people within one office work in separate collection departments help deter embezzlement by one employee. If an office procedure such as PMP was not implemented, it would not need two or more people to close out the daily financial paper work from the day sheet. “The PMP helps track the amount of money paid into the...