Despite providing the costliest healthcare services in the world, Healthcare practices in the United States bleed 3 to 5% of their revenue primarily due to revenue leakage.
The success of a healthcare organization largely depends on its billing practices. The better an organization is at billing, the greater the chances of its success. Medical billing is a systematic process comprising a series of steps that must be followed diligently and in a fixed pattern to avoid denials and re-submissions.
After years of experience in the healthcare industry and making a name among the top billing services, Clinicast introduces 10 practical ways to make your medical billing process more efficient with guaranteed reimbursements.
10 Ways to make your Medical Billing Process More Efficient:
There are numerous ways to make your billing processes straightforward and reduce the cycle time to 30 or even lesser to get reimbursed for the rendered services. So without any further delay, let’s take a look at what those efficient billing practices are.
Automate small time-consuming tasks:
Nothing slows down a practice more than small, time-consuming tasks. Even though they seem small from the outside, once you start doing them, they eat up most of your time and halt your productivity once you start doing them. Automating certain tasks like sending payment reminders, getting coding updates, and even filing a claim can save you big time and energy in focusing on more important things.
Submit Claims regularly:
Instead of keeping a huge backlog of claims to submit right at the corner of the deadline, opt for a daily submission approach, and if not daily, then at least as frequently as possible. This will help reduce errors in claims and, eventually, denials and re-submissions.
Another benefit of processing claims on a daily basis is that you can get reimbursement for your services quickly and keep track of your revenue stream. You can also use this information for budgeting and forecasting for your healthcare practice.
Create a Simple Collections Process:
A simple collection process is essential for a quick cash flow for your business. Having a payment collection process in place would help collect dues for unpaid claims. Ideally, a collection process must include the following:
Set Clear T&C (Terms and Conditions)
To improve the collection process, you must set clear terms and conditions and the exact time period within which you are willing to receive payments. It should also clearly mention that the patient will be charged a late fee for delayed submissions.
Additionally, it should also state what happens if the patient doesn’t pay. Doing so will avoid any miscommunication or confusion later on.
Provide Multiple payment options:
Set more than one payment option to offer convenience. In addition to cash, take credit/debit cards and even electronic payments, if possible.
The more payment options you offer, the greater your chances of receiving timely payments.
Verify Patients’ Addresses
Patients are unlikely to update their addresses when they switch to a new place. It is advisable to have a process in place to update patients’ data to avoid confusion during bill preparation and submission.
Also, it would prevent the avoidable expense of mailing payment reminders to the wrong addresses.
Post Remittances as soon as received:
Remittance posting is a crucial step in revenue cycle management. The process involves logging the payments into the billing software to provide a clear picture of the payments from patients and insurance.
It is essential to post remittances as soon as you receive them to keep your AR low. While it can be tempting first to let the remits be received before posting them, it can lead to backlogs and delays of work. Ideally, you should post remittances within a day or two to avoid delayed or missed payments.
Avoid Coding Errors:
Unlike a medical biller, a coder’s job is more critical and can easily throw a spanner in the works with the slightest mistakes. However, these errors are avoidable by ensuring that your coders use standardized codes for treatments and double-check your work before finalizing.
Consider adopting CPT and ICD-10-CM coding classifications in your coding practices. While errors are still possible with these classifications, picking them out won’t be a hassle. Additionally, pay attention to upcoding and undercoding, which mostly happen accidentally.
Keep Patients File Updated:
Ensure you keep your patients’ files updated regarding their personal information, such as phone number, address, and other details, as incorrect information can lead to claim denials.
Train your staff to verify each patient’s information during the visit, and don’t miss out on mundane details like insurance policy numbers, subscriber information, etc.
Automate Billing Process:
With the growing need for medical care, automation of the billing process is essential. Not just will it improve billing processes, but it will quickly submit claims and follow up on unpaid or denied claims.
Furthermore, automation will update patients’ data without requiring you to do it manually every time. Consider investing in trusted medical billing software to reduce your billing cycle.
Monitor your Staff:
Monitor your staff’s productivity for any loopholes. With the right tool or software, the management team can monitor the staff’s productivity status and identify areas that need to be addressed.
Insurance verification is a time-consuming task. Your front-line staff needs an efficient insurance verification system to secure coverage prior to rendering treatments. This will save time and reduce delayed payment issues down the lane.
Train your Staff:
Just deploying software is not enough. Your team or medical staff must be trained to use that software to optimize the workflow. Failure to do so will lead to unexpected delays and errors in the process and loss of revenue eventually.
Your staff must have a detailed understanding of the software to improve medical billing productivity.
So these are suggested guidelines by Clinicast to improve medical billing processes. Understand your practice’s needs and employ the right billing strategies to streamline workflow and improve productivity.
Lastly, outsource or automate the time-consuming sub-processes to shift your focus to more important tasks directly affecting revenue growth.