Is your medical practice billing for all the uninsured administrative services that you can? Many practices miss out on these key revenue opportunities.
Family and specialty physicians can charge patient fees for administrative services that provincial health insurance does not cover. While frequently paid for on a per-service basis, some practices also offer their patients the option to pay an annual fee to cover these services.
With Doctors Services, you can take the guesswork out of your uninsured services billing.
This post will explore the top three uninsured administrative services that you should be charging for but might have overlooked. They include:
- Prescription renewal requests outside of office visits;
- Missed appointments; and
- Forms, sick notes, and letters.
1. Prescription renewals outside of office visits
Health insurance does not cover phone or fax prescription renewal requests made by patients or their representatives outside of office visits.
Doctors Services regularly hears from practices about the frustrations of dealing with renewal requests. Patients tend to think that they are the only one submitting a request and that fulfillment should happen right away. On average, doctors receive at least three of these requests per day.
Responding to prescription renewal requests outside of office visits requires administrative time and resources. For each request, staff must:
- Access the patient’s medical record;
- Obtain physician review and approval;
- Make necessary administrative entries; and
- Communicate with the patient’s pharmacy.
If you are not consistently billing for these renewal requests, you are potentially losing out on collecting at least $1,500 per month or $18,000 annually for this service.
Often, medical practices do not have clear policies on prescription renewals outside of office visits. Doctors Services’ annual fee letter to your patients can make the details of your prescription renewal policy clear.
2. Missed appointments
Health insurance also does not cover fees for missed appointments. However, many medical practices feel that it is a pointless endeavor to pursue them. Admittedly, it can be a challenge for practices to fully collect.
That said, it’s important for patients to know that if they miss an appointment without providing 24 hours’ notice that there will be a charge. As practices know too well, missed appointments take away time that a doctor or other practitioner could have spent seeing someone else.
Even if you never receive payment, it’s vital to at least charge for missed appointments. Doing so helps patients understand that your practice takes missed appointments seriously. Just receiving a bill can serve as a future deterrent, leading the patient to think twice about missing an appointment again.
By managing your fee billing and follow-up, Doctors Services can ultimately help you collect more payments.
3. Forms, sick notes, and letters
Completing forms, sick notes, or other types of letters also falls outside health insurance coverage. When patients or their representatives request these, there should always be a charge.
Examples of forms include school physicals, pre-employment certification, or a note to a child’s daycare that they are free of communicable disease.
Some patients don’t understand why there is a charge for what can sometimes amount to not much more than a signature. Patients forget that their provider underwent many years of training to be in a position of authority to sign these documents.
Doctors Services can help you bill, collect, and manage fees for these and the other top two uninsured services. (Not to mention all the other uninsured services that you can bill for.) Learn what you might be missing out on with our free uninsured services audit.