When patients don’t pay their medical expenses, your revenue suffers. And when your revenue suffers, you can’t afford to stay up to date on the latest medical practices and technologies. Your ability to provide the quality care you promise your patients is affected. A medical billing advocate, a specialist who has insider experience that can look over a patient’s bills and come up with a payment plan that best suits their needs, can help those patients who aren’t paying their bills. Here are the signs that a patient needs someone to advocate on their behalf.
#1. They Don’t Respond to Countless Bills
Patients have many responsibilities. Many of those responsibilities include paying bills, and working to pay those bills. An exorbitant medical bill on top of everything else they already have on their plates adds a lot of extra stress on their shoulders. Medical bills often get thought of as less important, and get pushed to the bottom of the bill pile in favor of paying for rent, utilities and food. Month after month, you send them a new bill, and no payment is ever made.
A medical billing advocate will work with the patient, and with you, to go over their medical bills. The advocate can help to find a payment solution that works for the patient and follow up with them on a regular basis. This personal, one-touch solution will engage your patients on their terms and help you get paid faster.
#2. They Qualify for Medicaid, But Haven’t Applied
Many patients who are struggling to pay their bills often qualify for some form of assistance, including Medicaid. Some patients who qualify for Medicaid aren’t aware of the program, while others don’t think that they qualify. Either way, they haven’t applied.
In order to ensure that you get the most money possible, a medical billing advocate can make patients aware of Medicaid, letting them know what the program is about and answer any questions about it. They can help patients navigate the application process and ensure that the application gets submitted, helping both the patient and you.
#3. Insurance Denied a Claim
Even if a patient has medical insurance, their bills can still get out of control. This is often due to the increased prevalence of high-deductible plans. And when the insurance company denies a claim that the patient thought would be covered, the total they thought they owed is increased, and they may find themselves having difficulty making the payment.
Sometimes, coding and billing errors happen. A medical billing advocate will check over the bill to make sure there are no errors. If they find one, the total can be lowered. If there are no errors, the advocate will work with the patient to make a payment plan that works best for the patient.
#4. They Are Considering Bankruptcy
When things seem their bleakest, and the patient is overwhelmed by expenses, they might start considering bankruptcy. This last-ditch effort can quickly become a messy situation for the patient. Bankruptcy can be harmful to your revenue since medical bills will be erased. Rather than trying to go ahead with bankruptcy proceedings, a medical billing advocate will work with the patient to negotiate a lower payment, thus saving them from this last resort.