Chiropractic Collections Services
Chiropractic Collections Services
If your patients owe you money and you struggle to get paid for your hard work, our chiropractic collections services at Genesis may be able to help you. Today, there is an ever-increasing problem of patients not paying their medical bills. The average chiropractic clinic works on a 10 to 15 percent profit margin. If 3 percent of patients are not paying their bills, 30 to 45 percent of the net profit may be gone!
As our team might tell you, collecting money from existing patients can be just as important, if not more, than getting new patients. A collection agency may be able to help chiropractors recover money that is owed to them. Not only can this help to maintain the business, but it prevents in-house staff from becoming part-time debt collectors.
Primary Reasons for Non-Payment
There are a number of reasons for a patient failing to pay for their chiropractic medical treatment. These include:
- Insurance coverage is becoming more restricted on procedures, leaving patients to bear more of the costs.
- Healthcare costs rise on an annual basis.
- There are cuts in Medicaid or Medicare.
- Many patients have high deductibles and less than $1000 in savings.
- Medical expenses can be overwhelming and unforeseeable.
- Patients often require more than one treatment, leaving them with more medical bills.
- Patients may have other bills from credit cards, student loans, and so forth.
- Your chiropractic billing system might be complicated, leaving patients unable to pay for their bills.
Recovering Debt for Your Chiropractic Clinic
There are three types of collections services. This includes:
- Collection Demand Letters
- Collection Calls, and
- Filing a Legal Suit
The letters are often efficient for collecting debt and are cost-effective. Many patients will choose to pay their debt when they receive a written demand for payment. A collection agency might make more money when they utilize collection calls or a legal suit. Chiropractors will likely save money by assigning Collection Letters first and then transferring the debted accounts to the latter two services if these letters do not result in payment.
How Soon Can A Chiropractor Begin to Collect Debt
In general, collection services can begin collecting payment at any time, as long as it is per the office’s financial policy. Most chiropractors will start collecting after 60 days of no payment. We typically recommend sending patients to collection once the determination of insurance coverage has been finalized. This can prevent any confusion since the insurance coverage could vary from what was initially estimated.
Early intervention is crucial to prevent medical debt from piling up and weighing down your clinic. You should have a plan in place for any patient accounts with a payment that has been due for more than 30 days. Patients who have not paid anything in 60 days may be facing collection efforts. If your employees are not trained to perform the task of bill collecting, they could make an error that could result in a legal non-payment or your inability to take any legal action.
A Better Approach to Chiropractic Collections
If you have patients that are not paying their bills, hiring services for chiropractic collection may be the right choice. Collection agencies are effective, affordable, and understand the legal way of collecting money past due from accounts. Their methods are tactful and may be diplomatic or intensive – depending on the circumstances. They can also accept payment in several ways, and if needed, assist with revenue cycle management.
To learn more about our collection services, please call Genesis Chiropractic Software today.
Mistakes Providers Make During the Debt Collections Process
Our services allow providers to focus on patient care and administrative staff to prioritize other tasks rather than being weighed down by the cumbersome process of collecting payment from patients. While chiropractors typically join the field to help their patients heal, those services shouldn’t come free of cost, and offices should take steps to reduce the number of delinquencies they are managing. Your business is dependent upon revenue from patients to meet bottom lines and to remain successful.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for providers to make mistakes during the debt collections process, which is a primary reason to choose Genesis Chiropractic Software for the billing services we provide. Common mistakes made by chiropractic offices during the debt collections process include:
Not Getting the Timing Right
In some cases, offices are far too patient with those they are attempting to collect payment from. Waiting too long can have a significant financial impact and could result in cash flow issues over time. However, if you begin collections too soon, your reputation could be impacted. When it comes to collections, getting the timing right is critical.
Harassing or Being Overly Aggressive
When collecting a debt, it’s critical to follow The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This prevents collections from harassing or abusing consumers by making threats, making constant phone calls, not identifying themselves, and more. Failure to follow this could result in legal interventions and could be costly for businesses.
Failing to Attempt to Collect Debts
One common mistake that calls for the assistance of collections services is failing to collect debts. Practices often are so busy with other tasks that they rarely have time to tackle the cumbersome job of collections. It’s important to mention that it may be uncomfortable to call a past client who once had a relationship with the office. Working with our company can assist in taking the pressure off and settling some of those delinquencies.
Reducing the Number of Delinquencies
It should come as no surprise that chiropractic offices across the country have delinquent patient accounts. Most patients don’t seek care from a chiropractor with the intention of never paying for the services rendered. Typically, it’s because the cost is more than they had planned on. There are various reasons for this, such as high deductibles, insurance coverage issues, failing to have a referral, and more. While all offices will have some delinquent accounts, there are some steps offices can take to reduce the number of delinquencies, including:
- The best opportunity to reduce problems is for administrative staff to submit claims as soon as possible, at the first office visit. This allows issues to be addressed early on and prevents patients from having large balances that they may not be able to pay.
- Develop a form for patients to sign and review outlining financial responsibilities, in addition to having administrative staff review these expectations with patients in person.
- Chiropractic offices should obtain the insurance card and make a copy of it after the first office visit, keeping it on file.
- At the first visit, administrative staff should contact the insurance company to obtain information regarding the deductible, copay, whether a referral is needed, etc.
Why It’s Critical For Your Office to Get Help
When you think about why you went into the chiropractic business, it likely wasn’t so you could focus on calling your patients to get money out of them. Instead, you were thinking of ways you could help people live better lives and find healing through natural and holistic practices. These services are not free, though, and getting paid for your services can actually be quite challenging.
While more and more people are turning to chiropractic care to get the relief they need when it comes to physical ailments, insurance standards have not changed so much, so things can become complex quickly when it comes to working with insurances and getting patients to pay out-of-pocket. As past-due account balances begin getting bigger and bigger, it can be much harder to keep up with them and debt can pile up quickly.
What should you be looking for when you need chiropractic collections?
You do not want just any company to help you with collection services. If you choose a company too quickly that collects debts in an unsavory way, you can expect this to be a bad reflection on your chiropractic business. You want to make sure the company you are working with:
Is in compliance with different regulations and laws like HIPAA, FDCPA, and more.
- Has experience dealing with debt collection specific to chiropractic offices. Debt collection will be different depending on the type of office you work in and chiropractic offices will need someone with a different type of experience in medical debt collection.
- Is available to talk with you about any questions or concerns you may have, has support options available to you, and understands the goals and mission of your company.
Why should you work with an outside company?
When you hired your staff, you probably weren’t looking for someone who would need to keep getting in contact with patients so that they would clear their bills. You want people on your staff who are good with customer service, care about your patients getting their health in better shape, and can help your business grow and thrive. Working with Genesis means getting a chiropractic services team that will go above and beyond. We focus on the nitty-gritty of payments so your team can keep focusing on what they are best at. Recovering money for your services can be complicated and sometimes awkward. If you would like help, reach out to Genesis today.
How To Encourage Your Patients To Pay
Many medical-related offices wonder how they can gently coax patients into paying shortly after receiving treatment or care. People often live busy lives, so they may simply forget out of so much to do, or they are purposefully holding off on paying for other reasons. There are a few strategies you can do yourself to help people pay you timely, instead of having to deal with serious delinquent debts down the road:
Reach Out With Polite Reminders
It’s a great idea to contact your debtor with a polite reminder about an unpaid bill. No matter how frustrated you are, debtors are significantly more likely to pay if you are positive and kind. A letter, email, or personal phone call that inquires about their payment is the best way to start. Unfortunately, sometimes the hard truth is that you will end up with a debtor who is delinquent by a substantial amount of money. When gentle reminders don’t work, then you may need outside assistance.
Request Deposit or Payment Up Front
You may want to consider requesting deposits from your patients for scheduling an appointment, so at least you have partial payment before the services are rendered and have made some money for your time if the patient cancels or is a no-show. Many customers will be willing to pay in advance, but for those who are unable to, you can have them sign an agreement to pay half the bill at the beginning of treatment, and then the other half at the end. This kind of arrangement will involve some trust and good faith. Keep in mind that for new patients, requesting a payment before they have become familiar with your office may turn them away.
Send Invoices Quickly Afterwards
Send an invoice to your patients as soon as you can after the appointment. Do not wait until your accountant or bookkeeper has gotten around to doing it. There are automated programs you can use to send invoices to patients and payment reminders. By automating this step, your invoices will get out faster, and is more likely to be remembered and responded to by your patients.
Offer Flexible Payment Options
Some patients will want to pay by credit card, an online payment system, direct deposit, cash, or check. The more card and payment options you have, the easier it will be for your patients to pay. Additionally, consider incentives by offering a small discount for patients who pay up-front or on-time. This discount can be a flat rate or a percentage of the total invoice.
5 Important Questions for a Potential Collections Service
Collecting overdue patient bills is not fun. Yet failing to do so can affect your cash flow over time. If you are considering hiring professional chiropractic collections services, here are five important questions you should ask before signing an agreement.
1. What states do you serve?
A number of states require that debt collectors be licensed before they can work. A few states do not require any licenses. These include South Carolina, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Georgia, Iowa, and California. Before you ask any other questions, make sure any business specializing in chiropractic collections services can legally seek to collect debts in your state.
2. Are you compliant with all HIPPA standards?
Any debt collection service you hire for your practice must comply with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. If it does not, you need to move on and keep looking. This is the second question you should ask after you determine a company can legally work in your state.
3. What are your interests and goals?
Any company you hire for chiropractic collections services will represent you to your patients. They will shape and sculpt your reputation even beyond your in-person interactions with patients. Therefore, you want to make sure the company you hire has values and practices that align with your own.
4. What are your methods and general philosophy?
You should have a solid understanding of how the collections service will interact with your patients. You also need to know how patients will be treated when communications take place. If your primary focus is to nurture, heal, and help people, hiring a service that bullies and harrasses them is counter-productive to your mission. Points you may want to raise include:
- Ensuring your patients will be treated with respect and dignity
- Focusing on keeping patients rather than getting money through any means necessary
- Getting assurance that your patients will be treated with care
Furthermore, you should ask what kind of profit you can expect as a result of outside debt collection rather than pursuing the matter internally.
5. How can you make medical billing easier for both my patients and myself?
Medical billing is part of today’s complex health care landscape. Not all patients who have overdue bills have defaulted due to nefarious purposes. Some individuals may be struggling financially to balance other expenses, including other medical bills, on limited budgets. Look for chiropractic collections services that offer convenient payment options to streamline the process of paying medical bills for patients while helping you collect fees that seamlessly flow into your profits.
Tips for Securing a Successful Collections Call
Fully Introduce Yourself
People often feel intimidated when handling a collections call, so start things off by politely introducing yourself — give your first name, the company you’re calling for and a brief message about the payment in question. Be sure to inform the customer that you’re calling to help them find an agreeable solution for them and your chiropractic collections services.
Use a Light, Professional Tone of Voice
You want to make sure the customer can clearly understand you, so use good dictation and speak loudly enough to be heard through the phone. Don’t be afraid to ask if the customer can hear you!
Remind the Customer That You’re Listening
You may be calling on behalf of chiropractic collections services, but your goal is to help customers pay their medical bills. Occasionally let them know that you’re listening by saying so, or even repeat back important details and verify that you understood.
Fill a Lull With Polite Conversation
Since Genesis Chiropractic Software makes it so easy to complete your work, you may encounter some awkward silences during the call. If this happens, ask the customer about their day and if they have any questions or concerns you can help with. It can help ease tension and make the customer feel more at ease with you.
Offer Additional Means of Connection
If the customer needs more than the information you’re able to offer over a phone call, offer additional connection via email where you can. You can send copies of important documents, contact information for management and anything else relating to your chiropractic collections services.
Review Payment Plans At the End
Once you’ve successfully established a payment plan with your customer, be sure to carefully review it with them before hanging up. Read back the customer’s name and contact information, the payment date(s) and amounts agreed upon, where the payments will be made to and any other pertinent information. Give the customer one last chance to ask questions, and provide them with contact information in case they need further assistance later.
Get Help From a Manager When Necessary
There may be some instances where you’re unable to reach a solution; your customer may have questions you can’t answer, feel uncomfortable working with you or be adamant about trying to hang up without establishing a plan. When this happens, reach out to a manager for assistance. Also, you can offer to put the customer in touch with a manager if you find them becoming uncooperative.
9 Things To Know About Chiropractic Collection Services
Your collection company must be certified by the appropriate institutions for your trade. At Genesis Chiropractic Software, we maintain all of our certifications and only hire individuals with more than the minimum training requirements so that you can rest assured.
Must like certifications, your collections company must comply with all of your state’s regulations. Genesis Chiropractic Software is familiar with the laws in many places and can comply with most locations.
3. Data Security
Your chiropractic collections services provider should have data security measures in place so that you meet privacy measures and your patient’s information is secure. They can also ensure that the data is only used for business-related purposes.
4. 24/7 Access
A lot of collections companies are focused on convenience for their customers. Most modern companies have portals where you can submit claims and file other documents at any time of the day.
Chiropractic collections services tend to be a niche market because there are fewer offices compared with other medical fields. Plus, a chiropractor’s business model is unique, meaning that the services provided must be precise. Therefore, these businesses will need to approach revenue collection uniquely, in a way only appropriate for chiropractors.
Most companies charge a flat fee for a specific amount of time. A flat rate is often the best payment plan as you receive all of the funds they collect instead of paying a percentage.
7. Skip Tracing
If you have delinquent accounts open, you may need a tool called skip tracing to find these individuals if they move. Skip tracing is a tool that most collection companies can use to track cell phone data, credit history, and employer locations to help you find clients avoiding their past due bills.
The collections company you choose is a reflection of your practice. You don’t want the company mistreating or upsetting your patients. Therefore, you want to have a company that allows you to personalize your collection methods to best appease your clients, reflect your practice’s values, and bring in your revenue.
9. Credit Bureaus
Whenever you have a patient who gets out of control with their past-due bills, it’s good to have a collections company that will take appropriate action. You want to find a company that reports to all four major credit bureaus so you can hold any delinquent patients accountable and receive your funds.
Call Genesis Today For Assistance
At Genesis Chiropractic Software, we know that you will have your hands full providing care to your patients. We want to provide you with the software you need to operate your business with ease. Our services not only manage the collections process but offer a vast array of services that can benefit your business. Let our team help you improve patient retention, medical documentation, patient communication, and debt collections. To talk with collections services for chiropractic offices that stand apart from the rest, contact our team at Genesis Chiropractic Software today.