Patient payments are often difficult for healthcare providers. Even more so when the expense is unexpected, as in surprise billing. Surprise bills (or balance billing) increase the odds of underpayment or no payment for provider services. Surprise bills are a problem for the patients who unexpectedly get hit with new expenses as well as the providers who are trying to collect earned revenue.
Healthcare providers must understand federal regulations that apply to payments from self pay-patients, specifically the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Litigation around FDCPA is increasing and with surprise medical billing in the crosshairs, healthcare providers and revenue cycle managers need to minimize their risk.
As the volume of patient payments increases, many healthcare providers unknowingly violate regulation around patient targeting (like ECOA). Developing a collections strategy that maximizes patient payments and maintains compliance is critical for healthcare providers of all sizes.