Billing and collecting payments is a pain point for many physicians and healthcare organizations. From claim denials to patients not paying their balances, medical billing can be a headache. These five tips may help you make your healthcare billing process more efficient and improve your revenue cycle.
1. Automate for Healthcare Billing Efficiency
You can make your healthcare billing process more efficient by utilizing automation to handle certain tasks. Get the most out of your billing and EHR software by automating tasks like payment reminders, coding updates, and individual claims filing. When you use automation for smaller, time-consuming tasks, your staff can focus on bigger tasks that will benefit your revenue cycle.
2. Stick to a Collections Policy
To increase healthcare billing efficiency, your organization needs a clear collections policy. Without a policy, there is no way to streamline the process because there is no map to follow. One way to make the collections process easier and get payments sooner is to collect payments at the time of service rather than billing them later. If your patient has a copay, collect that before they see the doctor. If they’re paying out-of-pocket, make sure they know they are responsible for paying at the time of service.
Make sure that your patients know your policy on collecting upfront with signs in the waiting room and in communications about appointments and procedures. There are systems that allow patients to check-in and pay before they get to the office. Because it can be difficult to collect outstanding balances, some hospitals and healthcare organizations offer discounts for patients that pay upfront. Another option is to set up payment plans for people who pay out-of-pocket. Have patients keep a credit card on file that can be charged at regular intervals until their balance is paid.
Whatever collection policy you decide on, be sure to be transparent and consistent when enforcing it. However, you should also be respectful and mindful of maintaining a positive relationship with the patient. Aggressive collection methods can create distrust or frustration, damaging the patient-provider relationship.
3. Keep Patient Information Current
Keeping patient information up-to-date and accurate is critical for healthcare billing efficiency. Having a patient’s full name, date of birth, current address, work information, phone numbers, and email address are all key for billing. You’ll need that information when you submit claims to their insurance company. You’ll also need it if you need to collect payment. Frequent data collection can ensure you have current and accurate information as long as you use secure systems. When patients check-in for an appointment, it should be standard practice to ask about any changes in insurance coverage or contact information.
4. Track Denials To Identify Problem Areas
You can make healthcare billing more efficient if you create a system that tracks denials. When you get a denial, you should make a note of the reason the claim was denied. You can also make notes of which payer the denial came from, because different payers may process things in slightly different ways. Keeping track of these things provides you with an opportunity to identify your most common errors and improve your processes. The most common reasons for denials are:
- Insufficient support documentation
- Coding for services or equipment not used
- Lack of physician credentialing
5. Use The Right Vendors and Software
Choosing the right software for your organization is a key part of making your medical billing process efficient. There are multiple things to take into consideration when evaluating software. Looking for platforms that integrate well with your other software is important. Your staff needs to be able to learn to use the software to its full potential, so training is key. You’ll also want a vendor who will provide support when you need it after things are set up.
Fast Chart is a medical transcription company that combines technology, experience, and service. We provide innovative, accurate, and affordable outsourced clinical documentation. Our solutions are scalable including services and technologies like computer-assisted coding, automated transcription, and speech understanding to ensure accuracy in your clinical documentation no matter the size of your organization. To learn more about our services and how Fast Chart can help you with healthcare billing efficiency, contact us at (919) 477-5152