It has become imperative in this ever-changing healthcare environment to focus on a medical billing practice’s financial health. In the case of small and medium-sized practices, ancillary services are added, but the best way to increase revenue is by focusing on efficiency.
Some Billing Suggestions For Medium-Sized Practices Are:
- Patient Collections: This must be a regular practice; deeply imbibed in the minds of every staff member. At the patient’s first visit, the deductibles, co-pays and insurance coverage (through the practice management system – PMS) must be verified, and the patient must be informed of their liabilities beforehand so that they are aware of any added / huge bills to be paid after the service is rendered. A payment plan can be discussed too if the patient is unable to pay at a go, or settle on a percentage to be paid at each visit.
- POS Collections’ Options: The mode of payments available at the healthcare center/hospital must be informed too. And in cases of outstanding, the patient must be made to pay before the next service/procedure is rendered. To improve bad debt and increase medical billing revenues, medium-sized practices can employ various POS collection strategies at their center such as ‘card on file’ which enhances security and transparency; as this allows for deductibles, co-pays, and balances to be deducted automatically.
- Schedule Appointments: Appointments can be scheduled according to the urgency of the situation. Also, medium-sized practices can double book patients – booking for two patients in the same slot; as many times a patient can fail to show up hurting revenues. In this case, at least one patient would show up for the appointment, thereby allowing the practice to increase revenues by billing for one patient.
- Marketing: As advertising on television and radio is costly, medium-sized practices can look towards advertising on the web, which has also become extremely critical lately to attract patients and increase revenues.
- Technology: Medium-sized practices must make use of technology such as EHRs and medical PMS to schedule appointments, obtain lab information, gather patient data and send prescriptions increasing overall effectiveness.
- Prescription Refills: Rather than medium-sized practitioners renewing the prescriptions over the phone, it is suggested to schedule the next appointment at that moment for the day the prescription would run out. This will ensure a stable stream of revenues for the practice.
- Reduce Billing Errors: Inability to verify insurance coverage can lead to claim denials by the payer – denied if the patient is not covered for the particular service, or the coverage has been terminated, or the benefits have already been availed. For this, the patient’s demographics as well as the payer information must be accurate. Electronic health records (EHRs) must be used for streamlining data. Further, EHRs can also prevent the entry of incorrect procedural codes.
- Outsourcing: Medium-sized practices can gain from outsourcing their billing and coding services while they focus on patient care and efficiency. Expenses of staff salaries and other employee benefits, office space, equipment etc. can be saved. An internal billing team may not be able to handle re-submission of claims on time but with an outsourcing agency, filing/refilling of claims becomes easier. Further, outsourcing agencies’ medical billing professionals are more knowledgeable about CPT, ICD-10 and HCPCS codes.
Revenue is the mainstay of any healthcare practice. In this unstable environment, medium-sized practices must focus on ‘Value-Based Reimbursements,’ be structured, have advanced patient flow processes, connect with insurance payers regularly, and understand that every person in the healthcare practice is responsible for generating revenues.