Patient Collections: Cleaning Up the Mess

Long-time physician practice management adviser Elizabeth Woodcock has a rather uncharitable description of the current state of patient collections. "It is definitely a mess," says Woodcock, a long-time consultant for the Medical Group Management Association who now runs her own research and practice management training shop in Atlanta. Practices often don't collect from patients at the point of service-the most opportune moment, she says. In many instances, they have no clue as to what patients may actually owe.

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