Happy 2018! As you wrap up year end activities, now is the time to put into place solutions that will improve your revenue cycle for the entire year.
It starts at the beginning. That’s a little redundant isn’t it? But it’s true. Your revenue cycle starts when your patient checks into the office for their appointment. It is critical that any new insurance information is collected and verified. Also, be sure to collect the co-pay you received from the eligibility verification before the patient goes back to the exam room.
Have you refined your office workflow to ensure timely appointments for your patients? You may be wondering what that has to do with your revenue cycle. A patient that doesn’t have an excessive wait time to see the doctor, is a happy patient. Happy patients stay with your practice and refer you to others.
Ensure you have the appropriate number of staff members to handle your billing, posting and most importantly, AR follow up. Open claims greater than 30 days need to be followed up on regularly to get payment through the door as fast as possible. Run an aging report. Total up the number of accounts on that report. Do you have enough staff to touch every account in 30 days? If not, it may be time to look for additional team members.
Data Analytics is a term thrown around a lot in the Healthcare Revenue Cycle industry. It is not just a buzzword. Accurate and timely reporting is key to trending your AR. Did your AR increase this month? Is it due to an increase in your charges? If not, where was the increase? Accurate reporting is key to answering these questions.
Also, denials reporting and trending helps you identify key areas where there may be some workflows to be reviewed. Are you receiving a lot of Subscriber ID denials? There’s a breakdown in your eligibility verification process. A lot of medical necessity denials? Are you sure your team is providing all the requested information along with the claim to ensure prompt payment? Also trending your denials from week to week or month to month help show you where processes improvements are working and where some may be needed.
While it’s not the typical New Year’s Resolution to go to the gym more or try a new diet, maintaining the health of your revenue cycle will maintain the health of your practice.