Self pay (General)
Self pay patients are an ever increasing part of private practice. The reason for this is down to many factors, but the main ones are highlighted below:-
Some 90% of the population do not have private health insurance and with the NHS suffering due to the confusion surrounding the changes it is facing, coupled with continuing bad press on the quality of care on some wards, this is leading to an increasing number of people seeking an alternative to the health service
In order to control the costs of the premiums, insurance policies will have elements which are not covered by the policy. This will be due to benefit limits, patient excess on the policy and co-share policies, where the patient agrees to pay a percentage of each invoice
If you practice is based in central London, this has always been a part of practice life with patients coming from outside the UK seeking private healthcare
There has always been a percentage of people who have sought private healthcare without having an insurance policy. From our reading of the current market, this percentage would appear to be increasing.
It is important to know what your levels of self pay you have in your practice to ensure you have the means to deal with it correctly by means of both a billing and collection process.
Quite often debts can mount up which are either chased on a sporadic basis or not chased at all. It is therefore important to both have a clear understanding of your practice and also ensure you have a robust system in place to deal with this element of the practice.
The alternative is that you could choose to use a billing company who have the expertise and skill set to remove this burden from the practice.