Impact of Digital Consultation on your Medical Practice – What do you expect here?

Impact-of-Digital-Consultation-on-your-Medical-Practice-What-do-you-expect-here

Social media is no longer the domain of the young and fit, even seniors are now on the net and their apps, forming and sharing information across groups. The impact of this is often seen in discussions between patient and physician. Patient often Google search their symptoms and problems, discuss across groups, join forums, etc to know more about their illness. But are they getting their right information on their illness? If having to explain about the prognosis and diagnosis based on their symptoms differ from their Google search takes up most of your time, you as a physician would be seeing a lesser amount of patients and thus a fall in your revenues could affect the Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) process. There are both disadvantages and advantages to this, but how can you make the best of such digital consultation that the impact is positive?

The older population—persons 65 years or older—numbered 46.2 million in 2014 and represented 14.5 percent of the U.S. population, about one in every seven Americans. By 2060, there will be about 98 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2014. How will you deal with that many footfalls?

Remote video consultations between clinician and patient are technically possible and increasingly acceptable. How do these and the introduction of wearable devices impact your consultation? Well here’s looking at the positive impact digital consultation can bring and what you can expect:

  1. Helps to bridge the gap between patients and clinicians. It provides a change in how patients can be monitored
  2. Better delivery and speed of diagnostic information
  3. Can help deliver high quality care and on-time treatment
  4. Helps in Promoting self-management of chronic diseases
  5. Broadens the scope to reach out to those living in rural areas and others who need distance care and monitoring
  6. Wearable devices help create better intervention plans in conjunction with clinicians
  7. Costs related to capital, transportation, parking, and time away from work are reduced
  8. Reduces number of in-person visits and decreases delays in diagnosis and treatment — thereby avoids long-term complications and hospitalizations. Treatment can be initiated much more quickly via a video call or just by sending photos of the external condition, rather than waiting for an appointment.
  9. Patient satisfaction is on the anvil when you offer convenient, high-quality service without additional cost, especially in today’s world of high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses
  10. The ability to see more patients daily and achieve a better work-life balance can be realized

So just let the positive effects in, instead of procrastinating and thinking what the negative impact is, after all its patients and their needs that comes first- once that is satisfied, the revenues will walk in automatically. But yes, keep in mind the privacy issues of the patients when foraying into the digital world- security and privacy needs to be maintained at all costs!

Posted in Medical Billing, Practice Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Medical Billing Company: A Central Pillar for Healthcare Practice in California

medical billing service

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA), medical care has become accessible to many uninsured Americans. In California, it is estimated that there are nearly 750,000 people who remain uninsured. The continually growing population suggests that this number is only going to grow higher. As a medical practitioner your priority is to provide quality service for all your patients. This is where a medical billing company comes in service. An efficient medical billing service ensures that your practice is always fully reimbursed making it possible for you to offer your patients quality medical care.

Helping medical practitioners meet the demands of a value-based payment climate

With the changing emphasis on value-based payment, healthcare organizations are faced with the challenge to reduce operational costs while still providing quality care services. Working with a medical billing company helps to both decrease operational expenses and to also increase revenue.  More and more medical practices are beginning to see that outsourcing their medical billing services could be an efficient way to avoid penalties and scale down on costs – necessary factors to keep up with the changing norms and regulations.

Devising smart strategies for increased revenue cycle

Apart from cutting down costs, a professional medical billing service can also help speed up the claims cycle. The 24/7 services offered by such companies is valuable in accelerating the revenue cycle of a medical practice. It is also helpful to note that the detailed financial information provided by a medical billing service is a major tool for medical practitioners to make accurate revenue forecasts, seal revenue leaks, and strategize carefully.

Coping with a lack of resources and time

Working with a medical billing service provider allows healthcare systems to eliminate the cost and effort necessary to train their own staff, along with the expensive billing software needed. Currently, the Health Insurance Exchange (HIE) also poses a hurdle for practitioners across California, as do the other changing rules and regulations of the medical industry. Medical billing practices assist healthcare organizations in keeping up with new changes.

Further, unlike the fixed salaries of on-site employees, medical billing companies only charge a percentage of the medical practice’s overall collections. The correlation between billing costs and revenue is a major incentive for both medical billers to work industriously on your behalf, and for medical practitioners to ensure more value for money spent.

Employing the services of a professional medical billing company is advantageous for both small medical practices, as well as large healthcare organizations. Small medical practices receive the much needed assistance in billing efficiently while still cutting down on costs required for computer equipment, billing software, office space, and fixed employee salaries. Large medical care systems, on the other hand, benefit from professional medical billing companies by saving up on labor and huge costs for medically necessary equipment. Either way, medical billing companies are a pathway for medical care services in California to increase revenue while cutting down on costs to ensure that their patients are given the best possible care.

Posted in Medical Billing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How can Good Customer Service change the Face of Your Practice?

medical billing and coding

In the overall business world there is a very popular phrase which goes like “it costs five times more to attract new consumers than to retain the old ones.” This very phrase stands applicable in the physician business as well, where good customer service in the form of right treatment, hospitality, patient satisfaction and proper medical billing and coding stands vital.

Here are eight good customer service habits to change the face of your practice:

  1. Ensure each one of your employees is fit for making a decent first impression. This is significantly more critical for the front office employees in charge of welcoming the patients either over the phone or when they visit the doctor’s facility.
  2. Stay faithful to your promises. If you or your staff says “I will get back with you today” do it. Regardless of the possibility that you don’t have the appropriate response, a quick ring to tell them you are still working with it is always a very good customer service practice. Always be truthful with your responsibilities, regardless of how small they are.
  3. Exhibit gratitude and appreciation to your patients. Thank all your patients in a meaningful and thoughtful manner every time they visit your facility. It is not that hard just say thank you and smile.
  4. Prepare solid training ground. Awesome customer service is not just pleasing the patients, but is much more than what you imagine. It will be very much beneficial if a practitioner before starting to attend patients provides the in-house staff with solid ground training and follow it up with practical lessons of attending the patients.
  5. Listen and act when your patients grumble. Manage each complaint, as dissensions can be chances to fabricate a lifetime of dependability from a patient. Ensure that you listen to their grievance, check the validity, make a move to resolve it, and afterward let the patient know how it was settled. For ex. there might be an issue that the patients’ medical billing that is wrongly calculated and it is your accounts department who has to look into that as soon as possible.
  6. Go well beyond what your patients anticipate. It is better if you over the board to help patients and satisfy their queries. Ensure you are addressing your patient’s needs, and then attempt to surpass them by giving careful consideration to everything about the delivery of your administrations.
  7. Make it simple for the patients. Make the patient experience in your office as simple as possible, with minimal wait times, maximum comfort, while providing beverages like espresso/tea/water when possible. Additionally consider the patient’s flow through the center to ensure they have an easy navigation through the facility.
  8. If mistakes are made, admit them. Forgot to get back to a patient? Overbooked the clinic? Be straightforward and apologize, and offer options to repair the issue.

If your in-house staff follows the above mentioned activities, your facility and practice will witness an up surging success. Do remember that you and your staff ought to do these things consistently to make the patients that visit your center feel that they have settled on the correct decision, and set yourself apart from other physician facilities. This makes your patients feel like you are all on the same team, are more apt to send referrals, and more willing to make sure you are paid for the time and effort you have spent on their care.

Posted in Medical Billing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Wins the Medical Billing Race- In-House or Outsourced Billing Services

medical billing service

Medical billing is one of the most complex procedures in every practice. The standing question for most practices remains the same- whether to retain an in-house billing or outsource it to professionals. Although the answer to this largely depends on the type of practice, most opine towards outsourcing the billing services, however, there still looms a portion of practitioners who are wary of having their billing step outside their clinic. Smaller practices may benefit from an in-house billing wherein it may deem necessary for a larger practice to outsource the billing services.

As is established, Revenue Cycle Management(RCM)  is one of the key factors that plays a major role for a healthier practice. Ensuring an efficient billing cycle is in place with minimal flaws goes a long way in the success of any medical practice. Every coin has two sides, hence both these options too have their pros and cons. Weighing them against the requirements of your practice will enable a steady cash flow. It is of dire importance here to ensure the effectiveness of your staff’s billing and coding knowledge. Thus, whether you choose to outsource or not, it is imperative to be sure of the knowledge possessed by the team.

In-House Billing

Understanding the pros and cons of an in-house billing is important to make informed decisions. Although, an in-house billing calls for extra staff for back up, software installations, updated systems, salaries for the staff – gives you an upper-hand in the control factor. You have a control over your accounts and a closer watch on your billing operations along with easy access to your systems. However, this also translates to higher costs for the practice as you invest in infrastructure and staff salaries etc. It is likely that there could be a slip in claims follow up or due to absenteeism the workflow gets hampered. In case of errors in claims, the practice is held responsible and may have to face further charges for embezzlement which is common in medical billing departments.

Hence, it is important to ensure your systems are in place with the latest norms, the staff is doing a good job, has an updated knowledge and is working in the best interest of the practice.

Outsourced Billing

With a large number of practices turning towards outsourcing their medical billing, is proof enough for its benefits. However, it is always better to understand all the sides of an outsourced medical billing before you take the plunge. Once you choose to outsource, you are saved of the costs of infrastructure, hiring staff, keeping your systems up-to-date and your staff updated with new-in knowledge. All of this ends up being less expensive than maintaining an in-house billing. There are lesser chances of blunders and errors in claim filing and almost all of your unpaid claims are paid for due to a dedicated team that works on appealing for claims. Your outsourced billing company will live up to its commitment owing to the fact that it is contractually bound and will consistently give you results, thus enhancing your cash flow. With a professional staff adept with the latest knowledge of billing and coding handling your billing, you are sure to end up with a profitable business.

The flip side however is the accessibility factor and for some it may be the control factor. Some medical billing companies have hidden fees which you need to clarify in the beginning while signing the contract.

Regardless of what you choose- an in-house or an outsourced medical billing service, it is wise to understand your practice needs and then take the decision. No matter your preferences, either of the choices will impact your profitability hence, an informed decision based on your management style and your personal inclinations will help you choose better.

Posted in Medical Billing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to effectively build patient relationships?

How-to-effectively-build-patient-relationships

Over the years patients have become more demanding of their doctors. Unlike a few years ago, a doctor’s competence is not measured on the basis of qualification alone, but on his ability to offer value-based services. Indeed, the medical industry is seeing a shift in priorities and is emphasizing patient-centered care. For physicians, this means realizing that their patients’ wants have expanded.

Presence and mindfulness

An unfortunate result of our modern fast-paced lives is our increasing inability to hold meaningful conversations and navigate through emotional challenges. The Institute for Healthcare Excellence reports that 50% of preventable errors are caused by a breakdown in communication. This could be anything, from a wrong-site procedure to a patient who leaves because he feels his doctor isn’t showing enough concern, despite being extremely qualified. Instances like these erode trust and don’t bode well for the health care system, in general.

Recognize and respond to emotion

Being able to recognize and respond to emotion is probably one of the most difficult communication skills to master. It is also one of the most useful, considering that medical institutions are ripe with emotions running high in every direction. Whether it’s a frustrated patient or a disgruntled colleague, being able to identify friction and address it correctly is critical to preserve a relationship.

Efficiently organize patient data

Although this may sound prosaic, being able to efficiently manage patient data can greatly impact a patient’s experience at your office. Regularly updating patients’ medical files expedites the billing process, eliminates potential errors, and makes it easier for a patient to check in. It is important to foresee hiccups such as a patient arriving for an appointment without his insurance information.  Anything that the doctor’s office can do to maintain accurate information about each patient is greatly beneficial to the entire process. And with the goal being to ensure patient comfort and ease, being organized is crucial in achieving this.

Make friends

While qualifications and technical skills do impress a patient enough to select a doctor, what makes a patient stay is the knowledge that their physician is genuinely concerned and willing to make time for their queries. People don’t want an unfeeling robot in charge of their healthcare. The knowledge that their doctor is like them in many ways, makes it easier for patients to share personal concerns. Prioritizing a patient’s humanity conveys the message that your patients are important and worthy of your attention. Further, your patients will be less willing to pursue legal actions if things go awry.

Providing concentrated attention for older patients

The aging population in the United States is steadily increasing. Along with it is the growing number of elderly patients who require medical care. When dealing with senior patients it is necessary to pay extra attention and care. Avoid technical jargon that might intimidate them from clarifying their doubts. Many times a patient’s decision to skip a dose or continue with regular medication is significantly influenced by the relationship they share with their doctor.

Further, patients who share a good relationship with their physician are more likely to recommend to their family and friends. Building strong ties with your patients is one of the most important things you can do to increase your success as a medical practitioner.

Posted in Medical Billing, Practice Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Steps to Implement a Successful HIPAA Compliance Plan

HIPAAThe HIPAA law to safeguard patient health data is a critical arrangement that is well-known to the people working at the physician’s office. But many still have doubts when implementing a successful HIPAA compliance plan. Healthcare service providers who are not fully informed regarding changes in the law risk potential infringement that couldn’t just harm a practice’s reputation, but may attract criminal and civil fines.

Here are the steps to implement a successful HIPAA compliance plan

  1. Improvement in the privacy policy. Healthcare providers must create, embrace and execute privacy and security strategies and procedures. They should likewise ensure that they are reporting all the laid down policies and procedures, including action plan of things to do when a breach occurs.
  2. Organizing a privacy and security personnel. Healthcare organizations ought to appoint a privacy and security officer. This could either be the same or distinctive people. This individual ought to be familiar with all HIPAA rules and regulations.
  3. Regularly checking for Risk Assessment. The physician’s should regularly conduct risk assessment to recognize vulnerabilities. This will help guarantee the confidentiality and uprightness of protected patient information. It is vital to remediate any distinguished dangers and update policies. It heeds a long way in minimizing risks.
  4. Adopting email policies to connect with the patients. The doctor’s office needs to embrace approaches with respect to the utilization of emails. Just as wrong billing and coding leads to delayed and rejected claims, not keeping an interaction with patient via emails, means you are not implementing a successful HIPAA policy. But, HIPAA does not restrict the utilization of email for transmitting secured health information and it doesn’t require that the email be encoded or encrypted. However, experts in the field suggest that it is best to encrypt email if possible. If your organization can’t encrypt email, ensure that your patients know about the dangers they are confronting if they request their patient data over email.
  5. Adopting the smart phone strategy. Healthcare providers should embrace strict arrangements with respect to the storage of secured patient information on convenient electronic devices like smart phones and tablets and they should regulate the removal of those electronic gadgets from the premises. HHS has issued direction in regards to the utilization of cell phones, and healthcare service providers need to be acquainted with it.
  6. Training your Staff. Preparing all the employees who utilize or disclose protected health information should be trained according to the HIPAA compliance guide. Healthcare service provider should conduct refresher courses and prepare the staff with updated policies and procedures. As a matter of fact, training is not only limited to HIPAA compliances, but should also be given to the accounts department process clean claims. Still, if you as a physician find errors and obligation in the medical billing and coding tasks, the option to outsource that undertaking is would be a wise decision to go by.
  7. Execution of HIPAA Privacy Policy. Privacy and security strategies must be appropriately actualized by healthcare services provider, and they ought to sanction those staffers who violate them.

 These seven steps shall definitely help healthcare organizations to remain in tandem with HIPAA compliances, provided all the required resources are in place to execute the policies with updated changes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Do You Really Think That In-house Hospital Billing Staff Can Successfully Deal With Previous AR issues?

Do-You-Really-Think-That-In-house-Hospital-Billing-Staff-Can-Successfully-Deal-With-Previous-AR-issues

Each year the physicians in USA lose thousands of bucks in the form of bad errors. These so called bad errors are “Account Receivables” that have exceeded the acceptable time limit and seems impossible for further follow-ups.

Once these “AR” procedures stay on for more than 120 days, it makes it tough for a practitioner to claim which gets eventually counted as a financial loss. One requires having devoted in-house medical billing professionals to keep tab on such activities.

Medical Billing Procedures Are More Than Important Ever

One of the reasons straight answers are hard to come by is many staff members that are responsible to manage accounts receivables don’t know the relevant benchmarks to use the measuring performance. No wonder physicians are found to be frustrated and skeptical.

A physician’s internal medical billing acts like a backbone to its practice. You can rely on the staff till a certain extent however; majority of the situation that have been witnessed have come into lime light that they are incompetent when it comes to analyzing the reasons behind things like:

  • Pending reimbursements
  • Speed up realization of the claims
  • Device strategies to reduce AR days

The above mentioned are the primary “AR” tasks and there are more to it that determines the health care provider’s financial progress. Hence it is important that if you are having an in-house medical billing staff they are upgraded with the latest coding standards and reforms.

Therefore, outsourcing medical billing services that include AR management services seem to be the wise idea that not only avoids future errors but boost your financial growth.

Sourcing Medical Billing Services

When the economy is in delicate state, not only the health care provider’s patients are affected but their private practices too.

With the changing of new coding standards and new reforms coming into being, medical practitioners are fraught in implementing the same.  With the burden of knowledge so weighing down, they are losing hundreds of dollars due to denials, underpayments and ignored claims.

Hiring a 3rd party that holds a complete responsibility of your AR will be an effective way to increase the cash inflow again.

  • Employing an in-house staff for medical billing can be expensive. Even to hire just one new person, a medical practitioner has to think about the costs of training, salary, benefits, and taxes, as well as compensation etc. Using an outsourced billing service removes the headache of training and familiarizing a staff with your billing software, procedures, coding, etc. A billing service has already trained professionals, who only make money when you do.
  • The amount of time doctors and nurses spend on billing and staffing concerns can be decreased. This frees up the time which can be used to take care of the patients; which is what their goal is all about.
  • Outsourced billing companies are expertise in billing and coding expertise, and equipped with required resources.
  • Even though you are still stuck with handling billing, an outside service provider can aid you by offering software like practice management, EMR Electronic
    & packaged billing.
  • Certified medical billing companies are compliant with the state-of-the-art health care laws, like Health Care Reform bill & HIPAA therefore; your in-house staff can rest assure that the law is being followed

Having AR management service provider on-board will be the best decision you will never regret. You being care health care provider should not be distracted from your focus & clinical excellence. They promise to keep your clinical focus intact with some of the best analysis backed AR solutions. Also, you can also get them customized exclusively as per your practice needs.

Posted in Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment