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Billing Payment Plan

  1. #1
    Angry Billing Payment Plan
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    Does anyone know if there is a regulation that states once a payment plan is in place for a patient, you cannot just increase the amount?

    They have been on $25/month payments, now the office wants to increase it to $500/month! I know it's not good business, but can an office legally do this?

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
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    Columbia, MO
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    I would step carefully here. Once an agreement has been reached then it is a contract, and unless the contract states that the patient agrees that you may increase the payment amount at anytime to any amount then I do not think you can. You may want to have the agreement reviewed by your attorney first. That sounds like a terribly large increase. If I were the patient I would get an attorney if I had a payment suddenly increase with no warning especially by that amount.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  3. #3
    Exclamation Wording
    Our family practice office is currently reviewing our patient documents that include the word "contract" or agreement. After a conference lecture from a professional auditor, we were reminded that if we offer a "contract" or "agreement" and a patient signs it, both parties must abide by the conditions. Otherwise it may be breach of contract. If an audit is triggered by review of one "contract" other patient ontracts can be reviewed to determine a pattern of behaviour.

    Based on conversations at the conference, very few of the attendees were confident they could survive such an audit with a favorable outcome.

  4. Default
    I have been told by my administrator and by the local collection agency we use that once a patient has made 3 payments in a row of any amount and I have accepted them, without notifying the patient that it is not an acceptable amount, then that constitutes an unwritten agreement that can be held up by the law. I cannot change a payment plan without a new agreement with the patient, unless there are new charges which have increased the balance on the account. Then, of course the payment should increase.

    I have strongly suggested to patients that their balance was not going down at an acceptable pace with small payments and most of the time I can get them to up there payments, but not from $25 to $500. That seems excessive.

    Good luck.

    Andrea

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lassal423 View Post
    Does anyone know if there is a regulation that states once a payment plan is in place for a patient, you cannot just increase the amount?

    They have been on $25/month payments, now the office wants to increase it to $500/month! I know it's not good business, but can an office legally do this?

    Thanks for your input!
    look for more info in your financial policy and in payment agreement. It should have something like "...we may change your agreement terms... newly signed agreement will replace previouse agreement..."

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