Early Out Programs Are Keys to Success in Healthcare Industry

Health Care Organizations recognize the benefits from Early Out Programs. A successful Early Out Program will identify clients that are able and willing to pay, avoiding unnecessary collections efforts while providing increased revenue. As hospitals and physicians staffs are reduced in cost cutting efforts, the need to outsource early out programs continues to grow.
A successful early out program requires a multi-step plan that assures that the patient or responsible party is contacted early. They are informed that they are responsible to provide insurance information or they will need to make arrangements to pay the bill.
Pros in the debt collection business will tell you they are successful because they identify those that are able to pay early and then provide that person the opportunity to make payment in various ways. Understanding that some people will never pay is important. Finding those that can and will pay is the key to success.
There are a number of ways to receive payment and a well planned Current Health Policy Issues In The News early out program will maximize the return on your effort.
First, send a timely letter to the responsible party or patient explaining the services that were provided including dates of service and amounts. Explain that payment can be made directly for Current Health Issues Articles the services or that insurance information can be provided and that you will bill the insurance company. If the insurance company does not pay, then they will be expected to make payment.
Time is of the essence! If you do not receive a response within 30 days, then a telephone call is the most effective way to make a contact. Sending multiple letters, may have some positive effect, but most will ignore the follow on letters, as they did the first. The key is to identify the right party, get commitment to provide insurance, payment, or knowledge of their intent to make payment. If no contact is made after a telephone call and a message left, then a second letter often is appropriate.
Contact them early and often! Once a letter has been sent, many employ a predictive dialer system to make personal contact or leave an automated message providing a return phone number. Most people have voice message systems, so leaving a message is an effective way to prompt them to make contact with you. In early out programs, most are not as aggressive in their calling efforts as they might be with traditional collections, but the goal is to make contact and let them no your expectations for payment. Making a second call 10 days hence is appropriate and effective.
Provide them many ways to pay you! Many people like to pay their bills with credit cards. Although there is a cost to taking credit cards, it is less costly than having an employee interact with the person that owes you money. Your letter should include that payment can be made on your web site, by an automated phone system, or by sending check or credit card information in the mail. Most people would rather make payments without talking to anyone. That is easy with today’s technology which includes Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Voice Messaging (VM), Predictive Dialing, Pay by Phone, Automated email, Automated ACH, and pay via a web portal. Automation makes it easy to pay, verification of account information is done immediately, and payment authorization is provided within seconds. That means you get your money more often and more timely.
What else do you need to know? Check out HIPAA and FDCPA regulations. Many companies can act on behalf of the service provider which makes it easier to comply within the established rules of client contact.
You need to manage your accounts! Managing the results of your actions on your accounts is critical. A good collections software system provides the ability to organize your activities including what accounts to mail and call and when. Measuring and reporting your results internally and to your clients is most important. Good reports will measure your effectiveness and help you adjust your treatment of accounts according to those results. The latest software features the ability to select accounts by any field and then treat those accounts that need follow up. For example, you can select all accounts that are on payment plans with a balance of $500 or greater and are past due on their latest payment by more than 10 days and generate a calling campaign. This can be done with little effort and can generate immediate revenue.
Final words of wisdom! Be consistent in working your early out accounts, use technology as an advantage, measure your results, then you will get good results, new customers, and continued success.