Urgent Care Billing Depends on Follow Up

Because there often is not sufficient time in an urgent care setting to do the pre-work required for payment (you don’t want to delay treatment to a patient with an acute need), it pays to perform immediate patient follow up, prior to sending any statements. If crucial billing and insurance information remains unverified by the time statements are generated, you are very likely throwing away dollars that are vital to the day-to-day running of the facility.
Lack of post-service follow up also increases the need for patient statements (some of which may not even reach the intended payer). On average, it costs $8 to prepare and mail a statement. Those costs add up quickly. For example, if a statement is sent to all unpaid accounts every 30 days, and if a single statement per day is sent without correct billing information, the “wasted” statement will have cost over $2,000 in a year’s time. Often, many statements must be sent before the problem is discovered and corrected (if it ever is), causing costs to further multiply.
Thinking seriously about this issue also creates an opportunity to evaluate how your facility generates statements, and whether changes can be made to improve efficiency. More time on the phone early in the billing process may save a greater, more expensive effort later on. Ask for input from the billing staff themselves to assist in identifying areas of inefficiency that may have been overlooked.

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John Verhovshek
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About Has 576 Posts

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is a contributing editor at AAPC. He has been covering medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University.

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