Getting reimbursed on time is one of the most difficult tasks for most practices. In the ever-increasingly complex world of healthcare reimbursement, many practices are finding themselves drowning in the sea of payer contracts and paper claims. In order to reach the full potential that a practice can, it must have a healthy system for handling reimbursement.
What we often find with many billing teams is that they’re inefficient, many times due to challenges in reimbursement that can be easily fixed with some intentionality. Here are a few ideas to help your billing team clean up the revenue cycle and get payments through the door:
Stay off the phone.
As both technology and demands have developed in the medical billing arena, many insurance companies have developed system that allows for eligibility and claims status to be checked without having to consume valuable time waiting on hold on the phone or using a difficult-to-navigate interactive voice response system. Some states now even offer a portal that provides information for multiple payers while only requiring one login.
While it does to take some effort to accumulate the logins for each payer, it is well worth the time saved on the back-end to have access to information online. Many of these portals can be found by searching for the provider login page through Google, and take only a small amount of time to get signed up.
Work on your workflow.
Having to chase down money from patients after service can be costly and unfruitful. Many practices can streamline their revenue cycle by estimating patient responsibility on the front-end and collecting payment before the service is rendered. Patient estimation solutions now exist that can work in conjunction with a practices chargemaster and fee schedule to determine what a patient owes up front. Another great practice is to check patient eligibility prior to a patient arriving and clarifying what the patient’s responsibility will be so that patients have clear expectations before arriving.
Automate, automate, automate
Many essential functions of keeping the revenue cycle running at it’s full potential can benefit from some measure of automation. For example, claims should be sent electronically unless the payer absolutely will not accept electronic statements. If the claim must be sent paper, an effective system should be maintained to make sure that the time spent mailing claims doesn’t create an additional financial burden on the practice. This means simple things, such as using labels as opposed to handwriting addresses, as well as taking advantage of online stamp services like Stamps.com. Whatever your processes look like, make sure that you are taking the most efficient approach with automation.
If this sounds like a lot to handle, we totally understand. At Legacy, we believe that for many practices that outsourcing medical billing is essential for both payments and patients to be taken care of well. Many practices simply don’t have the time or resources to be able to manage an onsite billing team while making sure that patients get the care they need. If you need help, reach out to us at www.legacyconsultingservices.com. We’d love to talk to you.