Healthcare Compliance Tips
Informed Consent [Healthcare Compliance Tips]
Healthcare Compliance Tips
Billing Statements [Healthcare Compliance Tips]

Financial Policy [Healthcare Compliance Tips]

Review and update your financial policy.

In the last tip, we discussed the first compliance concern your patient won’t tell you, which leads into our second concern regarding how to handle your:

Financial Policy


Patients are usually ok with financial policies until that one fateful moment they miss their appointment and receive a statement requesting payment!  Usually, they are an established patient and may have signed the policy years ago.  But now, they don’t remember your practice policies.

In an ideal world, the patient should pick-up the phone to call your practice, but they remain silent, become angry, or worse, call the government.


Before doing anything, I suggest you review, tweak, or update your financial policy.  You want to ensure it is easy for the patient to understand with guided headings.  Remember, the return on investment within your practice depends on the strength of your financial policy and how well you and your staff relay the message to the patient.

Here are a few key areas that should be included in your financial policy, such as:

  • Payment due dates (i.e., copayments, deductibles).
  • Forms of payment accepted (i.e., credit card, cash, check, online payment systems).
  • Handling of primary and secondary insurance payments.
  • Late payments or cancellation policy (i.e., penalties, fees).

A best practice is to include a statement about financial policies within your HR and compliance manual.  Providing this information will give employees guidance on how to explain the policy and answer their questions.  You should allow the patient time to review the policy before arrival, ensure the policy is signed after an explanation, and keep the documentation in their chart for reference.

Also, let the patient know you will check-in annually to ensure they understand your financial policies. This allows them to feel included and protects your practice from excessive complaints.


**The opinions and observations from the group/author are not a promise to exempt your practice from fines and penalties.  Research, modify and tailor the advice to fit your specialty.

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Joi Sherrod, MPH, CPC, CPCO
Joi Sherrod, MPH, CPC, CPCO
Joi is an educator and owner of JNC Healthcare Compliance Group. After working for distinguished academic teaching hospitals and clinics, she is passionate about helping medical, dental, and behavioral health practices rethink healthcare compliance one trend at a time. Contact Joi at