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Surgery Center Best Practice: Send a Letter Prior to Service

Josiah Lamz, director of marketing for MedBridge, says up-front collections are one of the most effective ways to maximize payment on individual cases. "I commonly see that centers don't collect anything from patients on the date of service or they don't have a protocol to do so," he says. If you wait to collect until after day-of-service, your chances of collecting the payment in full drop significantly, so it's important to collect as much as you can on the front end, he says.

He says this means communicating with the patient prior to the procedure, a process for which a phone call may not be sufficient. While most ASCs depend on the pre-op phone call to go over necessary surgery information, patients who are busy, anxious or just distracted may not catch all the information you give them. It's much more useful to send a letter that explains the patient's expected portion of payment so that the patient or his or her family members can refer back to the information before surgery.

The letter should also make it clear that the patient's expected payment is an estimate. Finally, the letter should lay out the various methods of payment, which ideally would include all major credit cards, cash and check, Mr. Lamz says.  

Learn more about MedBridge Surgery Center Billing.


Read more revenue cycle advice:

-Best Practice: Physician Coding for ASC Procedures

-AMA Issues Update to 2011 CPT Codebooks

-5 Steps to Maximize Payment on Every Surgery Center Case

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