It’s hard to believe that something so small can do so much damage. But the truth is, tiny financial leaks could be cutting into cash flow and adversely affecting revenue at your practice—the kind of leaks that are hard to predict and even harder to detect.
Looking for a way to plug the leaks at your practice? Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Find a Full-Service Clearinghouse: Clearinghouses play a critical role in revenue cycle efficiency. A fully featured clearinghouse will improve the entire billing and collections process from claim submission to workflow management. Today more than ever, it’s imperative to have a handle on the healthcare industry’s ever-changing rules and regulations. A superior clearinghouse will catch errors before claims go out which helps to reduce rejections, speed payments and increase revenue. Other critical benefits include eligibility checking, electronic remittance advice (ERA), denial management, and real-time claim status.
2. Make Patient Billing & Collections a Top Priority: Thanks to high-deductible plans, your patients will continue to pay more out of pocket. These days, it’s not uncommon for patient payments to account for over 30 percent of revenue at a practice. That’s all the more reason for yours to reexamine its billing and collections process.
When it comes to collecting outstanding balances, simply sending out a statement is not enough. An effective patient-billing program also incorporates reminder calls, options for paying by credit card, flexible payment programs, and a dedicated team of specialists.
3. Take Advantage of Professional Services: In-house billing is expensive. It’s also time consuming for a staff that’s already overwhelmed with checking insurance eligibility, collecting copays, informing patients of unmet deductibles, and other administrative duties. Bring the focus back to patient care at your practice by hiring the right billing service.
The process should begin with a thorough analysis of your practice’s performance. Benchmarking compares the historical data at your practice financials to industry standards, evaluating collections performance, billing rates, adjustments, write-offs and more. Such a comprehensive review will help identify areas where a practice can improve financially.
Also keep in mind that a full-service revenue cycle management (RCM) provider offers much more than a billing company. As technology, services and industry rules continue to change, a professional RCM organization is better equipped for the future.
Make the effort today to plug your practice’s financial leaks and consider a preventive approach to offset declining revenue. Ultimately, it will bring your practice back to what it does best: caring for patients.
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