While any practice’s primary responsibility is to its patients, the health of the practice should never be taken lightly. You need to know your goals, pinpoint your expectations, and determine the resources required to get the desired results.
You can do better than just getting by. Here’s how to start:
- Identify. What problem areas do you need to target? Can you identify the financial leaks? The list most likely includes some (or all) of the following: checking insurance verification, coding and charge entry, clinical claim scrubbing, reviewing and sending claims, payment processing, denial management, accounts receivable (A/R) follow-up, patient billing and collections.
- Evaluate. Ask yourself some hard questions. Are you earning less than last year? Is your cash flow consistent? If A/R is a growing problem, what payers are slower to pay and why? Are claim denials mounting? How is your patient A/R? Is your staff properly trained or possibly underutilized? If there are too many manual processes, what can you automate?
- Implement. Meet with your staff to determine the most pressing issues. Perhaps you need to outsource billing and collections and/or automate your workflow? Or maybe your practice management system needs to be updated. Is your current clearinghouse meeting your needs?
- Maintain. Once you have a successful process in place, you’ll need to maintain the momentum. Monthly reporting review is a critical component. Continue to assess your staff and outsource where you can to free you up to focus on what you do best: caring for your patients.