Improving Patient Collections in a Mental Health Practice

For patients, out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, making it harder to afford necessary care. As a mental health provider, this increases the risk of patients having outstanding balances. When billing is handled improperly, your practice may face revenue loss along with payer scrutiny.

Here’s what you should know about mental health billing services so that you can improve patient collections.

 

Verify Benefits in Advance

Mental health care coverage differs based on which company the patient uses for insurance coverage. As a rule of thumb, ensure that your staff contacts the patient’s insurance provider to verify eligibility before services are provided. Communicating with insurance companies ahead of time minimizes the risk of collection issues.

When contacting insurers, it’s important to determine:

  • Copay charge
  • Deductible costs
  • How much of the deductible has already been covered
  • Which services are covered

By knowing this information ahead of time, your office can maintain a summary of a patient’s billing and collection details. This improves patient readiness for making the necessary payments in order to receive mental health services.

 

Always Request Copays at Time of Service

When billing for mental health services, another way to improve patient collections is to always request copays at the time of service. This ensures that your practice is getting the revenue it needs to pay for doctors and staff, but also for office space, medical equipment, and other necessities that enable your practice to provide top-notch patient care.

By switching to a point of service collection model, practices have found that they’re able to spend less time billing patients and collecting past due balances. Instead, more time can be spent on providing mental health services and treating patients.

It’s also important to note that patient copays are vital in your practice’s revenue. While some providers waive them, for others, copays can account for 20-30% of total revenue.

 

Offer Various Payment Options

Having an easy and flexible payment system increases the chance that a patient will be able to pay for the services that they have received. At a minimum, your practice should accept credit card payments, including VISA, Mastercard, and American Express.

To make paying even more convenient for patients, be sure to keep patient’s credit cards on file. This way, the card can be charged without the patient having it in hand. Practices may even want to consider accepting web-based payment options like PayPal and Trello, or offering automatic billing so that payments are never late or missed.

 

Billing Services You Can Trust

Managing a mental health practice while also staying on top of billing and collections can be a challenge, but we’re here to help. Are you looking for trusted billing services for mental health providers? Want to outsource your collections and billing to a team of experts? If so, we can help.

Psychiatric Billing is a full-service billing company that has served mental health providers for more than two decades. We’re here to maximize patient and insurance collections so that you can focus on your patients and your practice.

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Testimonials from Mental Health Professionals

Thank you for substantially helping with this difficult aspect of my practice. I appreciate all your help and the patients are grateful for your courtesy...

Brian B. Doyle,MD, Washington, DC

Randee, working with you and (our account manager) Fran have been a really enjoyable experience for me. Starting my own practice was really stressful and...

Anna Lee Hoodem,LCSW, Bethesda, MD