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Payment allocations - why it's important to keep on top of them


Do you know if your payment allocations are up to date? It is common for consultants to believe they have a large amount of invoices unpaid, however this may not be the case. Or in fact it may be the case!


Is the amount you believe to be unpaid actually true debt? Or could it be simply payments that haven't been allocated against the patient record.


From our experience, there will typically be many payments that have been received but not marked off against the patient records and therefore the figure that is showing outstanding is not the correct amount. Without your records being up to date, it will be impossible for you to know what is truly outstanding, and whether your secretary or billing company is wasting time chasing debt that has already been paid. Plus there is a high chance you will upset self-pay patients if you chase them for payment that they have already made.


If this situation sounds all too true, there are a number of changes that may help:

  • Set up a dedicated business bank account that your team have viewing access to – that way they will see all the payments that have been made and can allocate to the patient’s account

  • Make sure your team have time to be up to date with allocations – often this gets left and doesn’t happen regularly as they are busy dealing with clinical aspects of your practice

  • Make sure any insurance shortfalls are dealt with straightaway by invoicing the patient

  • Invest in a practice management software system that will streamline the allocations process for you - in particular one that allocates automatically when payments are made by card directly into the software

By making these small changes, it will ensure you are on top of your payment allocations and your resource is being used most efficiently to chase what is actually due.

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