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Part B News

As part of their continued look at ways to improve patient collections in the physician practice setting, Part B News reached out to Joe Clark, CEO of Sierra Pacific Orthopedics, for a discussion on how his practice reduced its 90-day A/R by more than 60% with the InstaMed Auto Payment Collect™ solution.

Read the full article, Ortho practice boss on how he cut 90-day A/R by 60%, in Part B News. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Recently, Part B News reported on some new ways to improve patient collections in the physician practice setting. We also discussed the subject with Joe Clark, CEO of Sierra Pacific Orthopedics in Fresno, Calif., from which the following is excerpted. He told us, among other things, why Sierra Pacific Orthopedics doesn’t take advance payments, how he runs his credit card on file, how he reduced his 90-day A/R by more than 60% and the secret to effective staff-patient payment communications.

Joe Clark: Eventually, we hope advances in connectivity and technology will allow practices to accurately calculate, in a timely fashion, patient responsibility immediately after the patient visit. [But currently] in orthopedics, there are too many variables to predict what procedures, tests [and] treatments we will do during a patient visit to even come close to estimating patient responsibility at the time of service.

We’re not lenders; we don’t assess the credit-worthiness of our patients. I just saw a specialist and was asked to pay when I checked in, even before the physician had seen me, done his E/M coding or ordered and performed additional testing. [If we did that] we’d be collecting in advance, and then refunding — and we don’t want that.

We have adopted InstaMed’s Auto Payment Collect process, which isn’t anything new — historically, this has been known as credit-card-on-file program. Both my kids had braces, and my card’s been on file with the orthodontist for years. After the service is done, we contact insurance, they adjudicate, and then we send the patient a seven-day notice that we’re going to change their card.

We rolled this out three years ago. We still have 10-15% of patients who don’t have the money on their card or who cancel their card when they leave. But we’ve reduced our 90-day A/R by more than 60%.


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