How Often to Bill Patients?

October 1, 2007

We are currently sending out statements monthly on a staggered schedule. If there is no payment after the third billing, we usually send it to collections. Should we bill more often? My concern is that if we send out statements every two weeks, for example, it will seem kind of harassing. And turning someone over to collections after just six weeks seems kind of harsh.

Question: We are currently sending out statements monthly on a staggered schedule. If there is no payment after the third billing, we usually send it to collections. Should we bill more often? My concern is that if we send out statements every two weeks, for example, it will seem kind of harassing. And turning someone over to collections after just six weeks seems kind of harsh.

Answer: The way you are doing it now is typical. I encourage you to cut it to two statements, though, one right after the date of service, and one on the staggered schedule.

It is your money, after all. And the quicker you collect, the easier it tends to be. I’d go for it, but track the results.

You may get kick-back from a few patients (to whom you can offer payment plans), but if you have data showing that collections are up, then it’ll be easier to weigh that subjective response relative to objective measures.

If collections fail to increase or accelerate, you can always switch back.