In order to maintain the proper billing of patients and the process of collecting funds owed, medical facilities must create and use an established financial policy. Some of the elements required to ensure that the financial policy established will prove effective are; a financial policy that patients understand and one that staff members are able to interpret as well.
The financial policy must openly state or clarify the financial policy regarding the obligation of the patient and also be specified in a way that staff members are able to understand these responsibilities as well. Financial policies should also include any possible circumstances that may transpire such as making payment arrangements, payment for procedures not covered by the patient’s health insurance plan, and other distinct circumstances or other types of exceptional arrangements.
Certain medical office procedures can help support established financial policies. Many medical facilities mail the patient a replica of the facility’s financial policy, while other offices may provide a version of the policy in a common area of the office such as a patient waiting area for all visitors to view and read. Some medical offices require new and established patients to sign a copy of the financial policy recognizing that they have read and comprehend the financial policies of that specific office or facility.
Some of the penalties of office procedures that do not support the established financial policy can include deceitful activity or the medical facility losing money. Medical office employees must make each patient attentive of any expenses or payments that the patient must make before a procedure or service is performed and make sure that the patient clearly realizes these charges. If the office fails to completely clarify these costs to the patient, there could be situations in which the patient may not be totally accountable for payment for certain procedures or services performed.
Some recommendations or strategies that I would suggest for medical establishments to use to ensure an effective placement of financial policies and procedures is to maintain a signed copy of the financial policy in the patient’s medical file and to update it on a regular basis to ensure that the patient acknowledges and understands their rights and responsibilities under the financial policy. I would also recommend that all staff members sign a copy of the financial policy so that they are aware of their specific rights and responsibilities as well.