Most MHM client have reported issues with self-funders when we get involved. It is also the source of many calls made to MHM. With the self-funding market increasing, it is important to understand the major reasons self-funders can, if you let them, be a problem. But what, based on empirical evidence, are three most common reasons a self-funder hasn’t paid:
The first issue is always the same. When the patient is contacted as a self-funder, he/she claims never to have received an invoice originally. Whilst this is obviously easy to rectify (send them a copy!) how many medical professionals are 100% certain the invoice was sent in the first place? Obviously some self-funders will be naughty so to speak but generally speaking they will pay if sent an invoice.
So the first common reason – the self-funder hasn’t been invoiced.
The second issue concerns the use of debit or credit cards. In 99.9% of cases when a patient arrives at a private hospital he/she will be asked to provide a swipe of their card. Sadly on numerous occasions, the patient is unaware that the card only covers the hospital fees if there are any. It does NOT cover the consultant’s fee. The MHM solution is when the patient first makes contact with the consultant, he/she is advised the card swipe will NOT cover the consultant’s fee. This should be followed up by a note on the consultant’s invoice stating: This invoice is NOT covered by any debit / credit card details you may have provided to the hospital.
The second common reason – the patient thinks they have already paid
The third issue is the easiest of all to resolve. On frequent occasions a self-funding patient has called upon receipt of the consultant’s invoice to say they are actually insured. This must be addressed immediately because invoicing the wrong person is absolute insanity. The cause is a failure at the patient’s initial point of registration to ensure the correct details are taken.
The third common reason – there is a major failure in the consultant’s registration process.
If the above three items are correctly managed and a firm process put into place to manage the minority of self-funders who don’t pay, the number of outstanding self-funding invoices drops in most cases by over 80%