Medical service providers are tackling increasing financial pressures from all sides. From patients and government agencies to payers, obtaining timely payment has become a challenge. To top it all, continued changed to healthcare is also threatening the budget for medical practices. Wondering what needs to be done to tackle these issues?
Here are five successful strategies to improve your billing and collections:
- Educate patients and have a transparent collection process – It is very important to ensure that your staff, patients and physicians are well-aware of co-pays, deductibles and other medical billing terminologies. This is because insurance is quite complex to understand. Educating patients of billing terminologies will not only help them understand their bills and pay on time but will also improve patient relationships.
- Avoid errors in claims submission- No medical practice can get paid on time if claims have errors. Billing and coding errors are one of the biggest reasons why claims get denied or payment gets delayed. To handle this issue, it is necessary to have an efficient billing system in place.
- Never miss claim submission deadlines – Second tip to speed up revenue collection is to stay on top of claims. Make sure that your billing team is filing claims on time, daily if possible. There needs to be a routine system for checking open claims as well. Even amended claims should be filed when necessary, without missing a re submission deadline.
- Identification of problem accounts – Problem accounts need to be identified on the basis of factors like late payments; frequent changes in contact information, regularly declined payments and so on. If there are such accounts on your list, then forward them to a clearinghouse in order to get what is overdue or missing.
- Staying up-to-date – Since there are constant changes happening in medical billing rules, it is very important to stay up to date with the latest trends. You should offer training and support to your staff so that they are well-versed with the latest changes that can impact the revenue cycle.
There are several other strategies that can be implemented for better billing and collections. For instance, practices need to automate their front-end processes. It is also necessary to start collecting money from patients up-front since there has been a significant shift towards patient responsibility. A strong denial management strategy will also be needed to boost revenue.