Experts suggest “consumerist” approach to collections

More and more experts are advocating for a "consumerist" approach to billing and collections for patients. The health care industry pays significant attention and energy to ensuring patients are consulted about the risks, goals and benefits of receiving treatments and procedures, so it stands to reason those individuals should have access to guidance about the financial ramifications of seeking care. 

"Just as patients expect proper clinical consultation early on, there needs to be financial consultation as well," Munzoor Shaikh, a director at consulting firm West Monroe Partners' healthcare practice, told Healthcare Finance. "I think there is fundamentally good will on the side of most patients to pay, so give them the ability to talk about how they can handle payments."

Other professionals interviewed for the story agreed the relationship should be less adversarial between collections representatives and patients. Greg Wojtal, chief financial officer of Banner Health Network in Arizona, said that oftentimes patients who have signed on to high deductible plans already understand the extent of liability they've assumed over cost. As such, financial counseling can take on a solutions-focused approach that helps individuals plan for the future and address immediate concerns about medical billing. Medical enterprises with a high volume of claims or extensive backlog might not have the freedom to try a new approach to customer support. 

If your health care facility lacks the resources to implement a system of this nature, making the decision to outsource receivables management can unburden offices to create more patient-focused solutions for collections and accounts receivable. Contact Professional Medical Services today to learn more about our services that help health care facilities run more smoothly and efficiently.