Avoid Losing Another Patient Against Medical Advice

There are many layers involved with a person receiving treatment for addiction and/or mental health disorders. One of the more complicated layers is cost. Not only is it expensive to receive treatment, but to provide it as well.

When thinking of value related to recovery, it’s important to remember the treatment is the only thing being defined by a number. A person’s health, their well-being, and their life are priceless. We’re all in this together to help the patient for that very reason.

That’s why when a patient leaves a treatment facility against medical advice (AMA), it’s a serious situation. Not only are they potentially putting themselves at risk, but their decision to leave treatment may affect others as well, including the employees of the facility.

It can be a hard conversation to have, for sure. Treatment facilities operate in order to help as many people as possible. If their services aren’t properly billed — or billed at all — the specialized services can go away quickly. One person’s decision can end up affecting 10 others, or sometimes more.

Having honest conversations about pricing is one of the best ways to help someone avoid leaving treatment AMA. Patients and their families want transparency, and they definitely don’t want any surprises. Remember, some patients are looking for an excuse to leave before they are even admitted, so don’t give them an excuse.

Treatment fees support the recovery of the person being treated, but they also support the employees, their families, and every person their lives touch as well. When the subject of financing and paying for treatment is dealt with professionally, providers end up with happy patients and significantly lower AMA rates.

Why You Must Keep Your AMA Rate Low

There are many levels to why an AMA rate is important to a treatment center, beginning with the heart of operations — the patient’s recovery.

Research has shown that patients leaving treatment that require medical intervention are at a higher risk of adverse health outcomes. At the same time, it does not take in-depth research to know that a patient leaving early is a danger to their life and overall chances of recovery.

As explained by TJ Ferris, President and Founder of The Revenue Solution, the downfalls of a high AMA rate at a treatment center do not stop with the dangers of relapse for patients.

“A bad AMA rate has numerous downfalls on a treatment center,” Ferris said. “Each downfall kind of plays into the next. From a clinical perspective, the likelihood of somebody staying sober after leaving a program against medical advice goes down exponentially. From a business perspective, if you have a higher AMA rate, you will not realize the revenue that could be had from patients that are leaving early. This has a trickle down effect onto your reputation. Your numbers of success rates will dwindle, and it will lead potential patients elsewhere, which hurts admissions. It is a vicious cycle to break.”

As recovery centers, it is your goal and responsibility to help patients find recovery. But you can’t help people find recovery if you don’t have the revenue coming in to support paying your staff and to keep the lights on.

Reasons for a patient leaving AMA range from lack of commitment to disagreements with staff to conflicts around payment. The Revenue Solution has found the answer to at least one of those problems.

Leading With Honesty and Transparency

Using honesty and an upfront style of work, The Revenue Solution has found success in helping centers across the country lower their AMA rate.

“It is important to be transparent about things,” Ferris said. “You have to realize as a treatment center that you are dealing with financial responsibilities for someone that is needing life-saving treatment. They did not reach the point of treatment because of a tumor or some other medical issue that arises from nowhere. They are at your center because of this disease that gains power over time and takes a toll on all facets of life — especially their finances.”

As time goes on and treatment centers grow, optimizing each aspect of business is an increasingly hard thing to do alone. This is why using expert vendors can help a provider support growth in areas where they lack internal expertise or just don’t have the time.

It is important to know too, that time and time again, The Revenue Solution has entered into partnership with treatment centers only to see their admission rates increase.

The Right Touch

The Revenue Solution is filled with people possessing decades of experience in treatment and collecting patient responsibility. Many times treatment centers afraid of handling patient responsibility discussions themselves will bring in a collection agency with no background in treatment.

This is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made. With no background knowledge surrounding the delicate nature of treatment, these providers often find the collection agency just makes alumni and their families angry. The collection agency doesn’t care about your patient or your program, they just want their share of the money collected. This leads to aggressive tactics that leave patients frustrated and resentful.

Frustrated and resentful patients and families leave bad reviews online, which end up seriously hurting admissions. This is on top of the fact that a good program will have 10–20% of their admissions coming from alumni referrals. But you get zero referrals from unhappy patients.

“[Patient responsibility] is a delicate topic, especially when you consider that the patient, in most circumstances, is going to have some withdrawal symptoms early on in treatment,” Ferris said. “By being delicate and honest with them and their families, you avoid giving them a possible out from treatment because of financial reasons. It fills a hole that they can use for self-sabotage. Any small hole a person can find when going through the difficulty of withdrawals can lead them to just up and quit the process.”

The Revenue Solution’s experience in the field has enabled them to know the emotional toll that addiction has on family and personal lives. That expertise means a world of difference in collecting patient responsibility and customer satisfaction.

Call The Revenue Solution Today

The Revenue Solution works with treatment facilities across the country, helping to collect millions while keeping the providers in compliance.

With a seasoned staff, The Revenue Solution ensures that their clients are remaining compliant in collection of patient responsibilities while generating substantial bottom line revenue. The staff has perfected the art of turning unpaid bills for deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly for their clients in paid-to-patient reimbursement, self-pay, insurance-denied payments, deductibles, and travel expenses.

To contact The Revenue Solution and use their expertise, call (844) 314-8867, email info@therevenuesolution.com, or visit their website https://therevenuesolution.com to learn more about how their services can help your treatment center and how their work has helped other centers just like yours.