Efficiency is something every company should strive for, no matter the industry. When it comes to medical billing, however, an organized and streamlined process can ultimately mean the difference between a thriving medical practice, and a failing one. It goes without saying that great revenue cycle management is a complicated process. To successfully collect from patients, you’ll need an efficient process that makes sense from beginning to end and a team of staff members who are willing to take ownership of the roles they play in patient collections.
Optimizing Patient Collections
Times have changed, and the bread and butter for many practices is largely rooted in finding efficient ways to successfully collect accounts receivable from patients. As stated by the Healthcare Billing & Management Association, “Up to 35 percent of the average medical practice’s total revenue now comes from patient payments.” This means organizations that haven’t adapted to the changing payment landscape are likely losing out on ample profits.
To optimize patient collections, medical facilities need to implement specific standards by which all employees must adhere. With clear instructions readily available, medical billing practices will be more consistent from team member to team member, and the organization will be less likely to fall prey to unintentional compliance violations.
Patient collections cannot be successful without a team of well-trained staff members who understand the importance of accuracy and following protocol. A ongoing thorough training process should always be a main focus for any revenue cycle management team.
How does an organization measure success? If there is no baseline that determines a beginning point, it’s impossible to know how streamlining the patient collections process has enhanced the overall success of the team’s efforts. As a starting point, physicians’ offices need to understand how key billing metrics impact the organizations revenue stream.
The following are a few key metrics that should be regularly recorded as part of a streamlined process:
- Percentage of accounts past due more than 90 days
- Net collection rate
- Claim denial rate
- Bad debt ratio
Once this information has been recorded initially, it’s easy to track trends and determine specific targets as time goes by.
Cashing In On Today’s Technology
Pen and paper have found themselves at the bottom of the priorities list for physicians’ offices that are looking to enhance efficiency. Honest human error and misplaced notes that can easily get lost on the paper trail, despite staff members’ best intentions. Although it’s not always easy to throw away the old way of doing things in favor of change, today’s technology can mean a world of difference to organizations’ bottom lines.
- User-friendly interfaces welcome patients to portals and provide easy methods of payment, among other things. It’s important to create interfaces that are easy-to-use, which will help eliminate frustration that can ultimately turn patients away from making payments or returning to facility all together.
- Reporting and analytics are far more accessible when the right technology is in place. Any practice should want to know more about the details that dictate where the organization stands, but handwritten work can’t do this necessary function justice. A partnership with an exceptional technology service can provide an incredible amount of insight that helps find bottlenecks and identify cash flow inefficiencies.
Organizing and streamlining medical billing procedures is far from an easy task; however, with diligent efforts, physicians’ offices can realize huge benefits from efficient processes in a short amount of time. It all begins by having a proper plan in place.