April 19, 2016
With skyrocketing practice costs and declining collections and reimbursements you may have often wondered if your pathology billing staff turnover is too high. A simple way to find out where you stand is to add up the staff wages including benefits, and payroll taxes. This figure needs to be divided by the total collections for the year and the percentage you get can be anywhere between 27% and 33%. This simply works out to 27 to 33 cents to the dollar going towards staff support costs, which is rather high.
Billing Staff turnover- A problem?
On the contrary, if the percentile figure is on the lower side, it can only mean that either you are understaffed or the support you have been getting is woefully inadequate. It could also translate to the grim fact that a large portion of your reimbursement claims are lying unpaid because there were not enough staff members to process the pathology billing and coding.
We are living in cost conscious times, and the slightest miscalculation can lead to cost run ups that add up to around 35 to 36%, which is quite unhealthy for your business. You may have well-meaning staff who put in an honest day's work. However, getting them and their doctors to adjust to the new economic order can be a daunting task indeed.
Dealing with the problem
Does the answer lie in outsourcing your pathology medical billing work to a professional billing and coding company? Or is there any way to cut costs and justify doing it in-house itself? There are quite a few physicians who believe that outsourcing your pathology billing to a third party service makes good sense. The fact though is that processing your pathology billing in-house and outsourcing have their own benefits and drawbacks as far as revenue cycle management is concerned.
One solution for increasing efficiency in pathology billing lies in implementing electronic health record (EHR) though the idea may be met with stiff resistance from the staff in the beginning. It can be a daunting proposition for the pathologists, nurses and the general staff as well. Even the most complicated systems can be mastered by intensive training and educating the staff scientifically.
The training program should be initialized in a phased manner, and while doing so it is important to spot the right personnel who are computer savvy. If the staff already have some idea about management software and specific health technologies, it is well and good. There may be some employees who can easily perform complex tasks on their desktops. There are several tests and exams for computer skills that the staff can take online to know where exactly they stand.
After you have identified a couple of employees who are computer savvy and can learn the new system inside out, they can be induced to train the others gradually. These are the people who are computer literate at advanced levels and can pick up new concepts within a very short time. Moreover, your EHR vendor is sure to provide sufficient online resources which are great sources of valuable information. All your staff are going to need are the username and password to be able to access such information.
The solutions provided here will certainly help in balancing your revenue and not making staff turnover a daunting task for your Pathology practice.
Revenue Cycle Management