Tips for Solving Common Medical Billing Frustrations (Part Two)
It is well established that inadequate billing practices and collections can be the downfall of an otherwise successful medical practice. In our last blog, we looked at some of the key points at which a practice can encounter billing and payment collection frustrations. Even if you fully understand where the difficulties and inefficiencies lie, if you cannot correct the issues, then all of your hard work in patient care will be for naught.
To run a financially stable medical practice, you must have a firm grasp on revenue cycle management, which then should inform your steps toward billing optimization. While a holistic approach to medical practice management and billing will be your best bet for success, we can understand that it can feel like a big step to invest in a total practice management solution. Never fear; there are many ways to attack your most pressing issues step by step. Plus, there’s some good news: solution to administrative and clinical problems often resolve the problems that lead to issues with patient compliance.
Whether you know that you are looking for automated billing software, some additional help, and an integrated process workflow solution, or just need some helpful pointers to get started on the right track, here are some tips to get your started on your journey.
Practice Price Transparency. Maintain a current price list so that patients know what to expect when it comes time to pay. Your practice website and patient portal are the best places to post price information – you can address any changes or specifics in person based upon insurance authorizations.
Pre-Verify Patients & Obtain Authorizations. Your patient portal can allow patients to input their insurance information before their appointment, or the information can be collected while an appointment is made. This allows the front desk to verify the deductible and payment status of each patient before they even walk in the door so that you know that your practice will be paid by the carrier for the services you provided. Some EHR systems even allow you to check your patients’ insurance benefits and obtain authorizations prior to providing costly services, easing the mind of both provider and patient.
Retain Credit Card & Contact Information. By collecting an on-file credit card number at the front desk, you overcome difficulties associated with high-deductible health plans and reduce the need for sending statements. You can use the information from the EHR to automatically make repeat credit card charges for payment plans, collections, and regular visits. Plus, having a credit card on-file makes check-out even faster.
Integrate Billing with Your EHR System. The front desk should know exactly what is owed both at check-in and check-out. Your EHR should flow all known billing data directly to the front desk for instant financial information retrieval upon check-out. The right system can even decrease clinical coding errors through an intuitive and specialty-specific interface and send reminders to patients about their bills. The right portal will even allow for secure bill-pay online.
Invest in Outsourced Billing Services or Technology Solutions. Hiring a professional, outsourced medical billing service will help shoulder the immense time commitment and expertise that medical billing requires. Pairing this with technology to automatically create claims – and populated them with appropriate demographics and charge codes – can help streamline the revenue cycle process and overall patient treatment workflow.
With a little bit of research and the right combination of solutions, you can close the leaks in your revenue stream for a financially stable future. Whether you choose a complete billing overhaul, or just a little bit of additional help or workflow adjustment, you can learn more about your options by downloading our complete guide to revenue cycle management and billing optimization.