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How Long Can A Medical Claim Be Collected For?

Medical bills are something every person encounters. However, when you’re a healthcare professional running a business, medical bills need to be collected promptly to receive payment. 

One thing is for certain: as a healthcare professional, you shouldn’t deal with collecting 

medical bills on your own. The smartest way to deal with medical bills is to find a trusted medical billing company that can help sort out your finances appropriately

The best medical biller for you will be someone who can make sure you’re getting the most revenue out of your business. Medical billers want you to get paid, and it’s their job to take care of any roadblocks that are in the way of you receiving payment, whether it’s due to an insurance claim hold-up, or a patient who doesn’t have enough funds to pay up. 

How Long Are Medical Bills Collectible For?

Based on the data available on the official US census website, about 19% of America won’t be able to afford to pay medical bills right away. Non-paying patients are an aspect every healthcare professional has to deal with at one point in their career. When you have patients who haven’t paid the balance due on their account, you’re probably wondering, how long is a medical bill collectible for?

Medical bills are collectible for a period of 30-180 days. The amount of time a doctor’s office will attempt to collect payment from a patient depends on the amount of the outstanding balance and standard practice procedures for collecting late payments. 

It’s at the doctor’s office’s discretion when they decide to hire a collection agency to take care of the patient’s account. If it’s a long-time patient, the office may be more willing to work with them. If it’s a one-time patient who keeps missing appointments, the office may wait a month after initiating contact and then send it straight to a debt collector. 

What Are Reasons Why A Medical Bill Isn’t Collected?

Receiving a medical bill as a patient can be daunting. When a medical bill fails to be paid, it’s always because of the patient. The multitude of reasons a medical bill will be left unpaid is because:

  • The patient couldn’t pay for services
  • The patient refuses to pay for services rendered
  • The patient found a coding/billing error
  • The patient doesn’t understand the bill 

Patients don’t always ask the questions they should be asking, so it’s up to the medical biller to make sure the patient understands that they:

  • Owe a balance 
  • Understand why they owe that balance
  • Understand they have options when it comes to paying that balance

Clear communication with patients about the bills they owe can reduce the number of payments that go to a collection agency. Any outstanding medical debt is collectible as long as the patient is willing to pay something. 

How You Can Reduce the Impact of Medical Debt on Your Practice

A professional billing company can prevent the harmful impact medical debt can have on your practice. Professional billers can contact patients for a follow-up call, send any outstanding bills to collection agencies, and work with patients on a payment plan when needed. A lot of patients who can pay aren’t aware that they don’t have to pay the whole amount.

Before sending a patient’s account to collections, a reputable medical biller will attempt to see if the patient can pay anything on their account. Even the smallest amount can prevent an account from going to collections. 

There are solutions to prevent ongoing problems with patients who don’t pay up. Only a medical billing company can perform the necessary services to make sure you’re receiving what is owed for the healthcare services provided.

The Best Ways To Deal With Medical Debt As A Doctor

Although we love to think that all patients will always be considerate enough to pay the balance on their account, the real truth is patients can easily neglect a medical bill. Many patients are unaware that billing departments are more than willing to work with them.

Don’t opt for dealing with unpaid medical balances by yourself since you’ll only end up with a pounding headache. As a healthcare professional, it’s important to manage your time wisely by hiring a medical billing company. 

Luckily, medical billing companies know how to start the process of getting the money owed to your practice. Schedule a meeting with a medical billing professional to see how they can help keep your medical office’s finances in check.