You need a clear accounting system that if not collecting a copay ( this as matter of sound business practice should be done up front or patient asked to reschedule visit ) Most practices will not see patient without copay collected up front !!! People will take advantage of anything you give them.
A person might give a cash copay and they may well not keep any record of this. If your system does not record this CLEARLY AT LEAST then you are out of luck...You need to have well established practices in place that leave NO DOUBT.
Then if you have a patient that is refusing to pay and lying then they should be dismissed from your practice!!
If your accounting and business collection practices have been too loose and you can't be certain then it becomes YOUR problem!! If in doubt then I think you are obligated to give benefit of doubt to the patient....
You may be in position to write off the loss...
Your practice should not be left in this position however!! If your business is to survive financially then you need to make CLEAR the copay policy to both patients and staff!!!
As I have said most practices have found that they must enforce collect copy first or reschedule. The policy may be posted. You may post and enforce this tomorrow if not already.
You can't expect a patient to keep records for you. That is not going to happen. Your record keeping needs to be CERTAIN!!
The keeping accurate accounting as to whom has paid is your office staff's responsibility. This needs to be part of your records ..payment ..amount and date....
I hope that this is helpful for you.Let me know if you have further questions or discussion.I will be happy to get back with you.If my answers have been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to leave positive feedback.Thank You and Best Regards,
Anthony Bray MD