Accurate revenue cycle management essentially means that you get paid in a timely manner and the account receivables balance is zero when the cycle is completed. However, this type of management could become cumbersome for physicians since it is not their primary occupation and the recent health care reforms would mean more patients and work pressure. Therefore it becomes imperative that you have a system in place whereby you can delegate this job to professionals and concentrate on your practice.
Gathering of data is one of the crucial steps in revenue cycle management and the process starts when the patient calls your office for an appointment. With a busy schedule which may get busier by the day, it would not be a surprise if you are unable to verify the eligibility of the patient by checking with the insurance company.
The best way to ensure that you enhance the efficiency of your revenue cycle is using the correct and updated CPT, HCPCS, and ICD codes. This can be easily accomplished by hiring top notch coders who can deliver in a timely manner. Sometimes many physicians end up holding their charge slips for a complete day which can cause a delay in the billing process. Moreover, if you hire staff that does not have in-depth knowledge of the Medical Terminology or do not follow CCI edits and LMRP standards or have the correct coding exposure, it could jeopardize your collections for that month.
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There are some basic steps in achieving better revenue cycle management including proper data gathering, automation (E-statements, e-prescribing, e-labs and accommodating electronic Remittance Advice instead of opting for EOBs), and professional billing and coding staff. This is the best way to achieve a zero accounts receivable balance. Therefore hiring office assistance with limited knowledge or expertise in this field can lead to problems. Moreover if these billers had no support to verify if there billing processes are accurate, that could lead to high denial rates or RAC audits. The best way to ensure that your revenue cycle management is a smooth and efficient process is to hire medical billers and coders who are experienced and have trained and up-to-date knowledge peers who they can consult in times of doubt.
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