It is a weird paradox. As the healthcare sector is transiting towards integrated and cost-effective business models, the revenue cycle of the practices is becoming more fragmented and expensive.
Drastic cuts in payer reimbursements increase patient payments, and ever-changing regulations are complex, traditional, and outdated approaches to RCM. Thereby, according to a PwC survey, 50% of Americans rate the hospital services as poor simply because of affordability and the non-transparency of the pricing policy.
To survive in this new economy, health care providers should drive their focus towards patient care. But simultaneously, there are medical bills to be paid to keep the lights on! Fortunately, exemplary patient care and a healthy revenue cycle are no longer mutually exclusive terms. There are well-proven ways of building a sustainable and strong revenue cycle while still paying attention to patient care.
Here are the five proven strategies by which you can stay successful in your practice amidst the patient-directed healthcare environment.
1. Automate your Healthcare Billing for Efficiency
You can turn your healthcare billing into more efficient processes by adding automation software to your medical certain crucial tasks. You can get the most out of your EHR software and medical billing by automating few tasks such as coding updates, payment reminders, individual claims filing, and alike. Adopting such automation for time-consuming and smaller tasks can give your employees ample time to focus on other crucial and bigger administrative tasks, thereby benefiting your revenue cycle.
2. Stick to a Clear Collections Policy
Without a clear collections policy, there is no way to streamline your medical processes as there is no map to follow. To get the payments faster, the best way is to make the collection process easier. If your patient is paying out of their pockets, make sure to collect the amount at the time of service instead of billing them later. On the contrary, if they have co-pay, ensure to collect that before the patient sees the doctor.
Regardless of the collection policy, make sure to be consistent and transparent while enforcing it. But simultaneously, you should also focus on maintaining a positive relationship with your patients. Any aggressive collection policy can create frustration or distrust amongst your patients, thereby damaging the patient-provider relationship.
3. Keep your Patient Records Updated
To maintain the healthcare billing efficiencies, you need to keep all your patient records accurately updated. The key for efficient billing includes having the patient’s full name, current address, date of birth, phone numbers, email address, and work-related information. All this information is obligatory for you to submit the claims to the insurance payers and collect the payments. As long as you use secure systems, do a standard practice to collect frequent patient data and ask about any amendments in the already collected information or insurance coverage when they check-in for an appointment.
4. Identify Problem Areas by Tracking the Denials
A smart move to make billing more efficient is to invest in a system that can track the denials in your submitted claims. Whenever you get a denial, make sure to note down the reason why that claim has been denied. Moreover, you should note which payer has denied the claim as every payer has a slightly different way of processing the claims. Keeping track of all these denials will help you identify the most common causes and errors to improve your further processes. Some of the most common reasons for claims denials are:
- Lack of sufficient supporting documentation.
- Improper coding for equipment or services used.
- Lack of proper credentialing.
5. Dealing with No Shows
One of the biggest challenges for medical center RCM is dealing with no-shows by the patients after booking the appointments. As per the statistics, approx. 10% of such patients don’t show up for their booked appointments every year. Thereby, this can cost you thousands of dollars every year, demanding certain steps to address this teething issue. This can be dealt with by setting up a reminder call with the patients before their appointments or sending personal emails to the patients by the doctors.
The best way to boost the billing efficiency is to outsource the billing process to Info Hub Consultancy Services – an offshore medical billing company in India. In fact, it is the most cost-effective solution for your practice as around 60% of the operational costs are usually spent on paying the in-house medical billing team. Partnering with the ICS as one of the best medical billing companies in India is an investment that can bring a marked change to the revenue cycle process of your practice. Our team has the necessary expertise to optimize your billing procedures. Moreover, we opt for an intuitive approach to ensure the best solution to any medical billing issues.