Stopping The Rise In Hospital Bad Debt

Clint Sallee, president of Fidelity Creditor Services, which represents physician practices, ambulatory and surgery centers was quoted in a September 30th article in Healthcare Finance News about effective strategies for collecting debt.

The article reported since 2006 uncompensated care in U.S. hospitals has increased by approximately 8 percent annually. The Hospital Accounts Receivable Analysis says the Southeast region of the U.S. had the highest percentage of total uncollectable accounts at 6.70 percent.

Sallee says there is a three-step process for avoiding bad debt.

“First is to know the case, and that doesn’t mean from a medical standpoint, it means more from a demographic standpoint: their social security, know their date of birth, driver’s license number,” said Sallee.

“Second, know the patient. Get the proper information and feel confident that the person that you are providing service to is the person that you’re ultimately going to need to collect from, should that situation arise.

“The third step is to know when to escalate the matter. If someone hasn’t paid you and it’s three months old, you sent them statements, don’t just accept the fact that you now have bad debt.”

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