Small fixes save big over time. Remember the adage “a stitch in time saves nine?” Applying that same strategy to your billing process will offset declining revenue.
Regardless of your practice size and revenue potential, small financial leaks eventually lead to big cash flow issues. It’s hard to predict and even harder to detect. If your billing and collections process has remained unchanged, you are most likely leaking revenue to which you are entitled.
Consider a preventive approach to protect your practice, collect higher revenue and to prevent future leaks. Today is the perfect time to investigate new solutions and prepare your practice for the future. Below are three key areas to explore:
(1) Outsource Your Medical Billing
Let’s face it, in-house billing is expensive and time consuming! From maintaining practice management software to staffing supplies and overhead costs, it all adds up. Practices are overwhelmed with administrative duties including insurance eligibility, collecting copays and informing patients of their unmet deductibles.
The right professional billing service can help, beginning with a thorough analysis of your practice performance. A good benchmarking analysis compares historical practice data to industry standards and evaluates collections performance, billing rates, adjustments, write-offs and more. A comprehensive review is the foundation to identify areas for financial improvement. Consider a professional revenue cycle management resource rather than a billing company. A full service revenue cycle management (RCM) provider is better equipped for the future as technology, services, and industry rules continue to change.
(2) Clearinghouse Capabilities
Today more than ever, it is imperative to stay on top of the ever-changing rules and regulations. Using a full featured clearinghouse is mission critical to reduce rejections, speed payments and increase revenue. A superior clearinghouse will send better claims the first time by catching errors with claim scrubbing and custom edits before they go out. Other important features include electronic remittance advice (ERA), denial management, eligibility checks and real-time claim status. Does your clearinghouse have you covered?
(3) Benefits of a Patient Billing Program
As the patient responsibility continues to grow with high deductible plans, every office must reexamine the patient billing and collections process. According to a recent article in Physicians Practice almost 30% of revenue is coming from individual patients. Sending statements alone is no longer enough to collect outstanding balances.
An effective patient billing program incorporates multiple touch points including statements, reminder calls and dedicated billing specialists. Patient payment options will accept credit card payments and set up flexible payment programs. Eliminating billing phone calls to the practice changes the focus back to the care of your patients.
A little effort expended today to fix a problem will prevent it from becoming a larger issue tomorrow. Procrastination will require more time and effort to fix later. Stop the financial leaks and consider a preventive approach to offset declining revenue.