How Patient Statements Are Generated and What They Include
It’s no secret that medical bills are notorious for their confusing and opaque nature, often leaving patients feeling both frustrated and confused with their billing statement and the subsequent charges they incurred.
This brings us onto the importance of clear and concise patient statements in the medical billing industry! These are crucial for giving patients peace of mind with medical bills, ensuring they’re aware of their outstanding balances and can make informed decisions about their healthcare.
In this article, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of how patient statements are generated and what they typically include. In addition, we’ll go over some of the challenges a healthcare organization might face while generating and managing patient statements, all while offering practical tips for improving the patient billing experience. Let’s get started!
Understanding How Patient Statements Are Generated
Simply put, these are documents that outline the various medical services that were provided to any given patient, including the associated costs. They’re typically generated by healthcare providers or a billing department after their services have been rendered.
We’ll explore this in more detail, but the main point of these statements are to inform your patients of what services were provided, the medical bill/financial responsibilities, and any insurance payments that have been applied.
It’s actually a win-win for both the patient and the healthcare providers. It benefits patients as they get to see where the bills have come from and how they are not being overcharged. For the healthcare providers, keeping patients in the loop reinforces the trust and relationship you’ve built together which can be helpful in retaining customers.
Additionally, these statements provide an opportunity for patients to review their insurance information and ensure their insurance provider pays the correct amount for whatever medical services they received.
If there’s any discrepancies that need to be ironed out, the statements can be useful for patients when getting in touch with their insurance/healthcare provider to resolve the issue.
Key Elements of a Patient Statement
There’s normally a few major components that make up patient statements. While they seem to vary depending on the healthcare provider, most of them generally include the following:
1. Patient Information
This includes the patient’s name, address, phone number, and any other information that can confirm their identity – standard stuff.
2. Insurance Details
After the basics are out the way, there’s a section about the patient’s insurance provider and policy number. You can often find other miscellaneous insurance information here too.
3. Services Provided
Naturally, when you generate patient statements, you’re going to need to outline the medical services provided to the patient. This involves things like date of service, the provider, and also a brief description of the service.
This section outlines the fees associated with each service that was provided, including the amount billed and any insurance payments that have been applied. This is possibly the most important part, so it’s vital that everyone’s on the same page regarding how this total figure came to be.
5. Payment Information
Lastly, it’s common to end things off with details on how patient payments can be made. You’d normally include whatever payment methods your practice accepts, as well as any deadlines for the payment.
Common Formats for Patient Statements
Practices can send statements in a range of different formats, such as paper, electronic, and online portals. It’s generally more common to generate statement electronically as they can be sent via email or another digital channel, compared to paper statements which are typically sent through the mail.
Electronic statements are also fairly similar to online portals, but the latter allows patients to access their statements and make payments online instead.
Managing How Patient Statements Are Generated
Due to limited staff and resources, small medical practices often find themselves over-encumbered with the administrative side of things in this industry – patient statement generation being just one of those things.
However, your practice can actually get a lot of relief from outsourcing to a third party organization like PMN to handle this for you. PMN’s expertise can be paramount in reducing the workload of your medical staff, freeing them up to do what they do best.
These additional services play a major role in helping healthcare providers manage their finances more effectively, as well as identifying any potential issues with their billing processes.
If you’d like to hear more about what PMN can do to improve the financial health of your practice, get in touch today by calling (949) 215-5055 or visit their office in Laguna Hills, Orange County, California!
How Often Should Patient Statements Be Sent?
As a general rule of thumb, it’s worth sending out patient statements on a regular basis, typically once a month. However, it’s still worth checking in with your medical billing provider to determine a frequency that works best for your practice.
Can Patient Statements Be Customized?
Yes, patient statements can be customized in various ways to add a personal touch and make them stand out from generic stock templates. You can include your practice’s branding and contact information, as well as adding personalized messages or instructions to patients.
What Should I Do if Patients Don’t Pay Their Bills After Receiving a Statement?
This might be tricky terrain to go over, but you should always try to handle things like this in a consummate manner. If patient’s aren’t paying their bills, it’s important to follow up with them in a timely manner. You may also want to consider sending a reminder letter or making a phone call to discuss payment options/set up a payment plan.