Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Watch Your Step - May 2014 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 34 BUSINESS ADVISOR organizations." We call every patient before their surgery to discuss their benefits and their out-of-pocket costs. We tell patients that 100% of their co-pay is due the day of the procedure. Some of our patients want nothing more than an estimated dollar amount and don't express any interest in a deeper understanding of their benefits. Others are more engaging and, in addition to asking us for an explanation, have asked us for our interpretation of their plan compared to others or about the state of health care in general. A good approach is to give as much detail as the patient is asking for without overwhelming them. 5. Be kind. Patients are probably anxious about having surgery and discussions about the cost of surgery can amplify that fear. Acknowledge their concerns and try to give as much information as possible without further increasing those fears. Most of your patients will be grateful for the time you take to explain their costs to them. We also try to take extra steps to help by facilitating communication with outside services they might have, such as our laboratory, pathology or X-ray providers. 6. Be flexible. We have general guidelines for collecting from patients on or before their day of surgery. Some patients still have very high deductible plans or have not met their deductibles when they come to our facility. Although we would like to collect everything from them, we also don't want to lose a case because of an overly aggressive attempt at collecting their out-of-pocket costs. At the first sign of resistance, our team goes into negotiation mode. Depending on the type of case and the patient's benefits, our team is authorized to collect as little as half of the estimated amount and establish a payment plan for the remainder, perhaps splitting the remainder up into 2 separate payments. If the patient still has trouble

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