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Write off policy

  1. #1
    Default Write off policy
    Medical Coding Books
    I am in charge of creating a write off policy and payment arrangement policy. Does anyone have suggestions on where to start? What the practice wants to do is send out three statements and try to make payment arrangements. If this fails then they want to write off the balance. Can you do this?

  2. Default
    We don't have a written policy so I am not sure how helpful this will be, but I thought I would share our process. We send 2 statements; if no response they get one phone call from our office and then their account is turned over to an outside collection agency. We just added Greenflag Profit Recovery about a year ago with great success. We enter the info on-line and they take it from there. If you write the debt off, what happens when the patient/guarantor seeks service in the future? I am curious to hear what others are doing, and their approach to creating a formal written policy. Good luck to you!

  3. #3
    Thanks for the information. This office is kinda funny. I just started working with them. They see mainly elderly patients so they don't want to get too aggressive with collections. If they don't pay they just want to write off the balance. I told them they have to a policy and they can't just write everything off. See my frustration? I come from a previous office that had a similar policy as you. Any more suggestions? Anyone??

  4. #4
    Richardson, Texas
    Successful collections begin before the patient arrives with an insurance eligibility check and benefits verification. When making the appointment reminder call to the patient, staff can inform the patient of his/her estimated financial responsibility for the scheduled services. When the patient checks-in for his/her appointment, he/she is not surprised with the front office staff requests the co-pay, deductible, 20%, etc. You must stress to the patient this is an estimate of their financial liability based on the insurance verification.

    If a patient is unable to pay his/her estimated financial liability, we work with him/her by collecting half the estimated amount or entering into a payment arrangement, e.g., $25/month.

    Be very specific in your insurance benefits verification, especially if diagnostic testing is involved (or potentially involved). An office visit may be covered with a minimal ($10) co-pay, but diagnostic testing may be applied to the deductible. Reimbursement for diagnostic testing may differ with or without an accompanying office visit. Also, a co-pay could be assigned to a diagnostic test in addition to the office visit co-pay.

    Best policy is "no surprises."
    Linda Hallstrom, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC
    Richardson, TX AAPC Chapter

  5. Default Financial Policy
    At the office I work in we send out three statements and follow with a phone call after we send the second letter. After the final letter they have 15 days to send in the balance or make arrangements, after that we write off to colelctions, but the software we have shows the collection balance, so if the patient calls we know what to collect before they are seen. In addition, I just realized that Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare has an estiamtion tool you can use for the services you are going to render. It basically shows you how they will process the claim and what the patient reponsibility is....It's great.

    In addition, collecting deductibles and coins up-front would be helpful....Trying to collect once the services are rendered can be difficult.
    Sonja Little, CPC

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