Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Collection: Simplicity is Best

Collection: Simplicity is Best

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My wife and I watch Texas Rangers Baseball most nights. As much as we like the baseball games, sometimes the commercials are more interesting than the game—particularly when the Rangers are behind. We enjoy the AT and T "It's Not Complicated" ads. You know, the ones that feature the little kids rambling on and on about why bigger is better than smaller and why more is better than less. Besides hearing the kids express themselves (which is great), it is the simplicity of the message—the basic concepts that are so self-evident that make the commercials appealing.

Simplicity comes to mind when I think about collecting money at the time the patient is seen—collecting at the time care is delivered is better than billing.  It’s not complicated. Just think about it—assume for a minute that the average co-pay is $20 and a doctor sees 25 patients a day; that is $500. And, say that same doctor sees patients three days a week for 48 weeks a year--that is $72,000 we are collecting for the practice. Furthermore, we do not have to go through the trouble and expense of trying to collect via mail and the delays such a process entails. In fact, with forms, envelopes, stamps and the time spent – not to mention re-billing – the cost of collecting a co-pay after the fact can be nearly as much as the amount of the co-pay itself. Hard to believe, but it is true.

So, when we are thinking about the question of when to collect—point of service or let it become a receivable—remember sooner is better than later and getting the money today is better than getting it 90 days from now. It’s not complicated.