As Americans face rising medical costs, higher deductibles and other realities that make paying for treatment difficult, patient advocates have become a central ally in resolving debts and mediating between hospitals and patients.
"These patient advocates — also called medical billing advocates or claims assistance professionals — have been around for decades," explains a profile in the Los Angeles Times. "But the field has taken off in recent years as patients face higher out-of-pocket medical costs and the healthcare system becomes increasingly difficult for the average person to navigate."
When patients enter into an agreement for medical treatment, it's important for them to know their rights and responsibilities. The benefit of adding another voice to the conversation is that advocates can clarify uncertainties and invoke appropriate practices to keep the dialogue on track.
However, the rise in patient advocates represents how protracted and convoluted the process of tracking down outstanding payments for medical procedures can be. In some respects, they add another level of distance between hospital accounts receivable and payment for treatments. Patient advocates help to customize the interaction between patients and care providers to reflect unique and potentially overlooked aspects of a case. They also provide education and support to individuals about medical debt and other considerations.
Often these delays are reasonable and in the best interest of patients, yet lengthy billing and collections can put pressure on hospital administrators. When those professionals outsource receivables management, they reduce backlog and caseloads to a manageable size. This allows administrators to focus on high priority claims and makes offices run more smoothly. Contact Professional Medical Services today to learn more about our services to boost efficiency in your medical office.