Billing Frustrations for the Modern Medical Practice
Managing your revenue stream is difficult. When it comes to your medical practice, it can be frustrating when you are not seeing a steady inflow of payments from your patients and their insurance. It is often a challenge for patients to understand their medical insurance, and in turn, their medical bills. That confusion is ultimately what leads to delayed payment and both patient and practice billing dissatisfaction.
It is important to recognize the multiple points at which a practice can experience frustrations with billing and collections. A practice stands to lose a considerable amount of money if billing is not optimized for efficiency. There are some key points to look at when moving toward optimization: patient compliance, and related administrative and clinical activities. You may already know you have a specific problem with billing, or maybe this can help you identify areas of improvement for your practice! Stay tuned for Part Two to this series for some of the solutions!
Often, patient compliance is the last piece to fall into place, and this may be because it is reliant upon effective administrative and clinical activities. Why is that? Healthcare bills are different than most other routine bills that people receive on a monthly basis, thus patients are already at a disadvantage. They can be long, full of complex numbers and vocabulary, and even if your patients can fully understand how much they are being billed (compared to what is covered by insurance), what for, and why, medical bills are often processed on a delayed timeline and are received by mail instead of online. Plus, insurance plans are a beast of their own so pre-verification of patient eligibility can be time consuming at best, and flat out impossible at worst.
Put yourself in a patient’s confused shoes. Do you open all of your mail? Have you changed addresses recently? Unless you have an automated reminder, do you remember to pay your bills? Do you pay your bills online, by check or by phone? These are just some of the common difficulties that patients must deal with when paying for their medical services, and this does not begin to address the complexities of the American insurance industry, or errors that happen on the administrative and clinical sides of billing in your office.
In this vast and muddled world of billing and payments, it is easy to feel lost and unsure of how to move forward to begin to address the many issues that arise, causing revenue insecurity for your practice. Luckily, there are some concrete and easy options that you can look into implementing in your practice that will begin to address all of your key billing difficulties. Stay tuned for our next blog which will offer some tips to start improving your practice returns immediately, or download our complete Revenue Cycle Management guide for detailed information on billing statistics, frustrations and long-term solutions! You can learn more about some of our Physician Billing Solutions.