Billing disputes are a common complaint that medical practices face today. While many physicians are trained in medicine, few do not how to run a business properly. Oftentimes, if you can clearly communicate your billing policies ahead of time and educate your patients on how their insurance plan works, you can often avoid any potential conflict.
We spoke with two billing experts who offered some helpful advice on how to better interact with your patients so you can minimize patient complaints about billing errors.
Help your patients understand their bill
According to Joshua Greenberg, chairman and President of San Mateo, Calif.-based HealthCPA, a provider of personal health care financial advocacy services, many billing disputes are due to the fact that medical bills are hard to read and most people do not understand how their insurance plan works. Because of this they could become confused by the various numbers they see on their bills and insurance statements.
“Therefore, many times billing disputes can be easily cleared up when billing office staff walks patients through the numbers they see on their bills, using plain language,” he says.
Additionally, many patients see the billed amount on the invoice and think that is what they are being charged. Greenberg advises that your billing office staff can explain to patients that they receive a discount through their insurance company and then explain any insurance payments that were made and why the patient owes the final amount charged. [Read more…]