Top 4 Tips to Beat Hospital Bad Debt

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Hospital bad debt is one of the main reasons for more hospital closings across America. Hospital administrators are confronting increasing costs associated with treating more and more Americans with little to no health insurance. As more are using hospital emergency rooms to treat minor to serious illnesses, hospitals are finding it hard to recoup these costs.

There is also a decline in patients with adequate health coverage visiting doctor’s offices, as illnesses tend to go untreated until they become serious. Many of these are minor and preventable illnesses, which if treated earlier would probably result in lower medical bills.

It’s been found around the country that many of those patients are under-insured or recently unemployed. As the recession deepens, the number of patients able to cover the costs associated with hospital treatment is decreasing.

Patients don’t tend to think about the high cost of the equipment involved in their treatment, nor do they consider how the facility will pay the wages for all the staff who participated in their hospital stay.

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With a lack of adequate debt collection strategies in place, many hospitals are delaying purchasing much-needed diagnostic equipment. Other hospitals are laying off personnel, while still others will probably have to close their doors unless they find ways to recoup hospital bad debt.

Listed below are 4 tips for decreasing or recovering hospital bad debt:

1. Making Payment Arrangements

Many patients tend to fear larger debts, as the amounts involved seem insurmountable. By setting up an internal payment plan with patients and encouraging them to make smaller, regular repayments against their medical debts, hospitals are able to at least recover some of the debt owed to them.

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2. Clearly Stated Payment Policies

Clearly stated payment policies should be part of your internal collections procedures. Patients need to know and understand these policies. There isn’t a problem as long as payments are made, and on time. However, should a patient fall behind in their payments, you need to make them aware that full payment will become due. If delinquencies fall further behind, patients should also know that these accounts will be forwarded to outside collection agencies to recoup the bad debt.

3. Offer Financial Counseling

Providing patients with the option of financial counseling can improve the partial repayment rate and reduce the total amount of bad debt that would otherwise be written off. Financial counseling can also help patients to find ways to re-think their budgeting priorities so that they’re more able to discover ways to resume making up their payment plans.

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4. Debt Collection Agencies

For any accounts that are delinquent and the patient is making no attempt to forward partial payments, consider hiring debt collection agencies to pursue any outstanding accounts.

Debt collection agencies are able to help recover any delinquent hospital, medical clinic, or doctor’s office bills from your patients in a professional, timely manner.

David P. Montana has been a renowned industry expert, business consultant and writer in collection agencies services for thirty years. He offers additional valuable tips and information on hospital bad debt and medical debt collection.

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