Client Payment Questions Providers Should Always Ask

Client Payment Questions Providers Should Always Ask
Client Payment Questions Providers Should Always Ask

Healthcare practitioners can ensure they’re properly compensated for their services by having intake staff ask the right client payment questions. If the intake staff doesn’t ask the proper client payment questions, it can mean time spent correcting mistakes and collecting on unpaid accounts and can add up to significant lost revenue.

By developing a standardized checklist for healthcare support staff, medical professionals can make sure the right client payment questions are asked at the right time. The checklist of questions should include:

  1. Ask the client what method of payment will be used. For example, self-pay, government insurance or private medical insurance.
  2. Ask to see and photocopy the insurance card if the client states that they will be covering costs with insurance.
  3. Ask the client for all pertinent personal information, such as:
    • Full name
    • Maiden name
    • Spouse’s name
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Alternate telephone number
    • Social Security number
    • Birth date
    • Employer information

  4. Ask the client for all the pertinent information of the insured, if they are insured under someone else’s name, such as the spouse or a parent.
  5. Ask if the client has a tax-sheltered health savings account that can be used toward medical expenses.
  6. In case the primary payment method should fail, ask the client for a backup payment method, such as a credit card.
  7. If the client is seeking treatment for an injury, ask them if the injury happened on the job. Regular health insurance coverage may not apply if it’s a work-related accident. In most states, workmen’s compensation insurance covers medical expenses for work-related accidents.1 Ask the client to provide applicable workmen’s comp insurance information.
  8. If your practice accepts medical financing, ask clients about their interest in these options. Flexible client payment programs, specifically designed for healthcare expenses, make it easier for clients to get treatment or pay for procedures.

One example of a medical financing plan is CareCredit.2 The line of credit can be used for co-payments, deductibles, treatment and procedures that are not covered by insurance.

This checklist is not all-inclusive, as different healthcare environments may have additional requirements. A staff meeting with clinicians, administrators and support staff can help fill in the gaps with your particular requirements.

More Tips on Client Payment Questions

Healthcare is a client-centered business, and any staff who asks client payment questions should be sensitive to certain circumstances. Giving a client a form to fill out may not be best in all cases. Employees checking in clients should always be friendly and helpful. Keep forms short, and the number of forms a client has to fill out should be limited.

Lastly, private help for filling out forms should be offered.3 If the intake staff suspects a client has literacy issues, medical professionals treating the client should be made aware of the situation. Healthcare providers can then give greater assistance to their clients in understanding information related to their health.