Claims Processing

Managing patient payments


As deductibles and coinsurance amounts continue to increase, so too has uncollected patient financial responsibility, resulting in physician practice bad debt spiraling out of control. The AMA offers resources to help physicians manage patient payments and maximize efficiencies in the collection process. 

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Collecting amounts due from patients at the time of service, or at the point of care (POC), offers numerous benefits to practices, such as reducing accounts receivable, increasing cash flow, reducing medical billing and back-end collection costs, decreasing the administrative burdens of tracking and writing off bad patient debt and managing the growing portion of practice revenue generated from patient payments. All of these factors can help a practice maintain or improve its financial viability.

While physicians’ offices ideally should work to receive payment from patients at the point of care, sometimes this is not possible. It is still important that practices implement an effective plan for the collection of payment after the patient has left the office. The AMA has developed the following resources to help physicians develop a successful post-visit collection process in order to maximize their practices’ financial health:

Physician practices can improve efficiency and reduce costs by implementing practice management system software that can automate a significant amount of revenue cycle functions. To help practices evaluate their needs and make informed choices when selecting a practice management system, the AMA and the Medical Group Management Association have created a collection of informational resources.

The AMA Administrative Simplification LinkedIn Group is designed to provide updates and encourage dialogue on administrative issues affecting physician practices, including automation using electronic standards and operating rules, prior authorization standardization and reform, and regulatory developments. Physicians, practice staff and other interested stakeholders are encouraged to join.