Archive June 2017 XVIII, No. 6

Ideas That Work: Ask Patients How (Not If) They'll Pay

self-pay patients UP FRONT Have your frontline staff kindly but firmly tell self-pay patients how much they owe, followed by all the forms of payment you accept, at the time of admission.

Ask Patients How (Not If) They'll Pay

We all know how difficult it can be to collect from self-pay patients after services have been rendered, so give your frontline staff the tools they need to collect at the time of admission. My advice: Educate them to steer away from passive language like, "Will you be paying today?" or "How will you be paying?" Instead, teach them to be imperative. Upon a patient's admission, staff should kindly but firmly tell the patient, "Your responsibility today is X amount" and then list all the forms of payment you accept: MasterCard, Visa, CareCredit. Of course, you need to communicate to patients exactly how much they owe well before they walk through your door on the day of the procedure (

Cristina Bentin, CMA, CCS-P, COC, CPPM
Coding Compliance Management
Baton Rouge, La.

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