Billing in general is a vital cog in administrative services as it directly helps to generate revenue. Proper billing helps in regularizing the cash flow which keeps the practice afloat. There are two types of bills sent to the patient; hospital bill and a physician bill. When this is done correctly it works in your favor as the patient will come back to you to. In fact, physicians are using ERP’s which can help in preparing one bill statement for patients who are using multiple services. Let us put it this way; this is one of those important non-clinical activities for the future of the practice since one is getting paid for the service one provides.
There is a continuous shift in financial responsibility to the patient in form of deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays and so on. The challenge though is not only to get payments from patients who do not have insurance. In fact in the present scenario the patient still has a sizeable amount to pay after their insurer adjudicates the claim.
About 25 in every 1000 people opt for orthopedic surgery due to osteoarthritis. It is pegged at $35.5 billion worldwide and is forecasted to grow at 3.5% annually to reach $38 billion by the end of 2015. The reason for this growth is aging population and the desire of individuals to stay fit in later years. Increasing obesity and prevalent health plans are also driving the demand of orthopedics.
More than 65% of the orthopedic products in the market include spine, knee, hips and trauma related. Moreover, orthopedic procedures are slated to grow by four percent annually by the end of 2015. The reason being there are 48 million people in the US who are above 65 years which is an increase of more than 18% from 2010.
From the above data we can see that the orthopedic industry is growing which means that the numbers of patients are going to increase and if proper patient billing is not carried out, it would indicate a loss of lot of dollars.
The process of collecting money from the patient begins right from the beginning; at the time of registration. It is absolutely important that complete and correct details of the patient are filled to submit a correct insurance claim as well as to send the patients statement at the correct address.
Correct pricing and payment flexibility plays a huge role in prioritizing patient billing. If the pricing strategy is correct it will attract more patients and it will encourage patients to pay quickly. Moreover, if facilities like online payment, credit card payment are introduced it will make life simpler for patients.
One needs to make sure that once the payment is received it should be posted correctly so that there are is no duplication and the same patient is not asked to pay twice. Also, if a patient has not paid he should be sent a statement and a regular follow up on the payment should be ensured.
Orthopedics should hand over the patient billing activity to professionals if they lack the in house expertise. Professional Medical Billing companies can efficiently and effectively carry out the billing tasks and help increase revenue for the physician.