Any medical provider knows how difficult it is to get paid for their services. 73% of healthcare providers state that it takes 30+ plus days to recover their payment fully. Various issues like sophisticated billing processes and unclear communication complicate the payment cycles. The communication triangle between you, the patient, and the insurance company worsens the problem.
To get paid efficiently and legally, medical providers need to pool their resources and establish better systems and procedures that provide lasting success. We hope our blog gives you concrete advice and guidelines to base your collection processes on.
Strategies to Improve Medical Billing and Collections
Table of Contents
- 1 Strategies to Improve Medical Billing and Collections
- 1.1 1. Train your Employees to Collect
- 1.2 2. Establish a Transparent Collection Process
- 1.3 3. Collect Detailed Patient Information
- 1.4 4. Properly Manage Claims
- 1.5 5. Educate Patients on Claims Processing Process
- 1.6 6. Select Powerful Medical Billing Software
- 1.7 7. Track Performance Areas and Optimize your Processes
- 2 Final Thought
1. Train your Employees to Collect
Training your front desk to deal with different billing scenarios before they face them helps a lot. Your staff should be fully equipped with the standard procedure for every billing situation. Establishing an authority to supervise billing processes at the front desk is useful to navigate unusual situations. On the patient’s end, encourage your front desk to be welcoming yet firm in their approach towards payment issues. You could ask your staff to communicate pending dues and payment options to your patients when they confirm an appointment.
Another effective way to deal with overdue is to give your staff scripts and communication guidelines that help them remain respectful while asking for payments. 65 percent of patients are more likely to pay the partial amount on time if they’re given an estimate at the time of service. So, send an estimate promptly to recover your costs.
2. Establish a Transparent Collection Process
Healthcare workers usually have a lot on their plates. Hence, if you don’t have a proper process to deal with payment issues, it can cause many problems for you. You can deal with repetitive payment processes by creating a rulebook every worker can live by. We believe in getting all the details in a comprehensive document that acts as a standard rulebook for all your patients. Ensure your staff understands each step and their responsibilities during the billing processes. Make your new joiners go through a training seminar to familiarize themselves with the collection process in detail.
81% of small physicians find it challenging to convey patient payment accountability as a part of their service. Don’t be one of them!
Setting up clear expectations with your patients about the payment terms when they fill out the intake forms also speeds up payment. Also, making this information available freely on your website, paperwork, and frequently asked questions section eliminates any ambiguity. Also, define various payment options to your patients early on to avoid getting payment through unsupported means. Posting your collection process and responsibilities near the receptionist desk for easy accessibility is also a great option.
3. Collect Detailed Patient Information
Proactively collect patient information like name, address, phone number, copy of the photo ID, and other details. Having easy access to these details helps you send out bills and notifications for future correspondence. Also, ensure you keep in touch with your patients and keep your data up-to-date. Additionally, automating your systems to check your patient’s insurance eligibility and lapses frequently.
4. Properly Manage Claims
Did you know that almost 80% of medical bills contain errors? Due to the strictness of insurance policy payments, many such erroneous claims get denied easily. If your system fails to receive these denials and process them quickly, you won’t get paid by the insurer. So, ensure you have a specific denial management process to deal with reprocessing the claims proactively. Your priority should be to ensure you reduce the number of denied claims. However, if you still do denials, ensure you reprocess them within the week.
Medical providers can avoid denials by: –
- Submitting the complete form with accurate patient details like name, address, and phone number.
- Filling all the important fields in the claims document correctly.
- Double-checking the entered data and cross-checking it for accuracy.
5. Educate Patients on Claims Processing Process
Medical staff is spending a lot of time studying more about insurance payments. However, your patients also need to understand how copays, deductibles, and other medical billing processes work. Using simple flyers or banners to convey billing basics to your patients is a good technique to speed up the claims processing. You could also dedicate a special helpline to guide your patients on the payment process. By educating your patients about the insurance process, you avoid being the middle man in the patient-insurance company relationship.
6. Select Powerful Medical Billing Software
Are you still processing claims on your own or through your team? If yes, consider upgrading to an efficient medical billing software to stop fighting an uphill battle. Having a great medical billing tool reorganizes your collections process by tracing your pending bills, recognizing those payers who haven’t paid, and automating the addition of late fees in their bills. This all-rounder approach systematizes your claims processing and places the onus on your customer to comply. It does come with a big price tag. However, in the long-term, it’ll save you money and headache. 90% of medical practitioners are already using cloud-based tools. We recommend you do it too.
7. Track Performance Areas and Optimize your Processes
Investing in good billing processes gives you the peace of mind to focus on your job as a medical practitioner well. You may have all the tools you need to maximize your medical billing collections. However, to prepare yourself for all circumstances, we urge you to be more proactive in the collections process.
Here’s how you can do that: –
- Educate yourself about altering medical billing rules and coding protocols.
- Recognize any problem accounts.
- Chase your pending payments.
- Track your practice’s revenue cycle.
Collecting your hard-earned money as a medical practitioner is tough. However, when you have the right tools and knowledge by your side, nothing’s impossible. So, set up processes, educate yourself, and file some claims today!
Outsourcing medical billing can save time and costs by assigning most claims-related and collections tasks to an expert medical billing company.