The Revenue Cycle
There have been reforms initiated from industry and government with respect to processes in the health care profession. Patients are made to face increased medical costs due to these. This in turn indirectly impacts the revenue of practices due to cash flow drop. More so during a year’s first half that necessitates employees to manage deductibles, making them meet more individual expenses.
Front office holds the Key
According to survey conducted by the Advisory Board, just about 13% of the respondents have rated their front desk’s collection process as excellent. The analysis is an eye opener about the contemporary performance of front office collection system. Post-visit issues regarding collection are indicators of the need for collection ability evaluation. There are certain steps through which payment can be assured at point of care without causing inconvenience to patients:
- Ensure your practice is compatible to Health Plans
- Health plans such as Consumer-Based and High-deductible Plans are extensively being used by a large portion of the population – it is advisable to check and ensure that your practice is included in the network – as several patients may be enrolled in such plans
- Check & Ensure Insurance Coverage
- Prior to the physical visit, it is essential to collect as much information about payers as possible – it is the responsibility of the front desk to check and update information such as whether patients have had any changes since their last visit. Details such as deductibles, balance amount of patients, and whether there is any co-pay need have to be gathered properly.
- Self-payments Must be Collected During the time of Service
- Although it may appear a little uncomfortable, it is necessary to insist politely on payment. In the case of established patients with any financial troubles, your front desk needs to be capable of firmly conveying the message across – for people with difficulty in paying fully during the visit, financial counseling toward working out some payment agreement may be offered.
- Credit Cards may be used as Payment Option
- Maintaining information about credit card on file will help in easing financial problem of patients. Other solutions such as fixing a monthly payment schedule and using mobile devices for accessing information as well as paying will render the payment processes convenient. Your front office must ensure that factors such as dearth of payment mode or ambiguity in invoicing do not hinder the payment process.
- Clear and Smooth Internal & External Communication System
- Effective communication that conveys the intended message unambiguously goes a long way in reducing errors and earns appreciation from patients – communication, when performed transparently among staff and with patients ensures smooth payment processes too.
- Outsourcing the services of Medical Billing is a Sound Idea
- As outsourcing allows medical practices to focus more on their core responsibilities while reducing their collection-related issues, seeking a reliable outsourcing partner and entrusting the billing tasks to them will enable practices to save time and resources.
Consider partnering with an organization that consists of skilled billing professionals for improving your reimbursement rates and effectively enhancing your collection.