bad debt

5 Most common reasons for bad debt & what you can do about it

Reports of cash-strapped consumers struggling under the crushing weight of bad debt is cause for concern. However, for medical practices, patient liability or bad debt is often the result of an inefficient patient collections process, perhaps even more so than your patients’ ability to pay. In this blog, we highlight the most common reasons why medical professionals struggle to collect from patients, & how you can lower your risk of bad debt:

1. Patients are not informed upfront that there will be a copay amount

Patients don’t like surprises, especially invoices they assumed would be covered by their medical aids. Healthbridge’s Benefit Checker automatically verifies whether your patients have funds available or not before their appointment. If they don’t have sufficient funds, you or your staff can inform the patient that there will be a payment due before they arrive at the practice. 

2. There is a delay in sending invoices to the patients

Once a patient physically leaves the practice, your chances of being paid by them drops by 16%*. In fact, bad debt can often be reduced simply by collecting from the patient at the time of service. By sending claims in real-time you will get a line-by-line response within seconds indicating what will be paid & won’t. You can use this information to invoice the patient immediately, thereby increasing your likelihood of collecting in full.  

3. Claims are rejected due to incorrectly captured patient information

Mistakes, incorrect or incomplete patient information could be costing you money. Healthbridge’s Family Check feature means you can validate a patient’s information effortlessly & easily. The online calendar ensures that the same, correct information is used from appointment booking to billing. Reducing data errors & verifying information can go a long way in ensuring your are reimbursed for services fairly & accurately. 

4. There is a delay in capturing information from diagnosis to invoice

If you are a medical professional still using paper files, there’s a good chance your bad debt is higher than practices that use integrated digital software. Eliminating the gap between recording your diagnosis & capturing billing information is a powerful way to improve your patient collections process. Healthbridge’s electronic Clinical Notes allows you to send billing instructions to your practice management software immediately after consultation so there’s no delay between diagnoses & invoicing.

5. Practice is still using outdated desktop solutions

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that it is essential to be able to access your practice information from anywhere, anytime. Desktop solutions can’t offer the same flexibility & location-free access. Healthbridge’s cloud-based medical billing & Clinical Notes solution enables you to access your practice information & run your business no matter where you or your staff may be.

Healthbridge’s comprehensive cloud-based medical billing & clinical software solution has been developed together with practicing medical professionals to create a solution that creates real-world value for medical professionals. To find out more on how Healthbridge can help you with patient collections, click here.

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