Helping patients is the priority of every medical professional. The moment your practice becomes insolvent, you will be of no help to your patients.
To keep your medical practice afloat in these times of rising costs, you need to establish an efficient billing system that allows you to maximize your profits and medical practice reimbursement.
These are the most effective ways to improve the way you bill your patients:
Implement a straightforward collections process
Establishing a step-by-step approach to your collections process clarifies makes it clear to everyone involved. Since it also thoroughly informs your patients of their responsibilities, the improved process also greatly improves your revenue cycles.
In every collection, you should inform patients of what is expected of them regarding the payment of their debts. Include their responsibility to pay in the new-patient paperwork and regularly remind your patients of their obligations, especially when changes occur. This way, they would not be able to feign ignorance as an excuse for delinquency. In the new-patient paperwork, get permission to leave messages and contact patients regularly to verify their addresses and contact details. Remind them about their co-pays, and collect co-pays and balances due based on deductibles up front.
Write payment related letters to send out to patients when the due date for their bill is near, when it is overdue, or when the bill is about to be sent to collections.
Properly manage your claims
Around 80% of medical bills contain errors that lead insurance companies to reject them. After the rejection, the editing and resubmission often take weeks, and you will need to wait for months before getting paid for your services.
To save you the time and effort, double check the common sources of error, such as patient information, provider information, insurance information, unclear or missing denial codes.
Verify whether a service has already been reimbursed or reported to avoid duplicate billing. Make sure that there is an attached Explanation of Benefits (EOB) on denied claims, especially for insurers that require physical claims. If the insurance company fails to attach an EOB or denial code, contact their representative to send the EOB or clarify problematic portions of the claim.
Reduce coding errors
Before they become an issue, most of the common coding errors are caught by clearinghouses. However, some errors, like non-specific diagnosis codes and incorrect modifiers are more difficult to identify.
There are also other sources of coding errors, such as undercoding and upcoding, that may be unintentional or accidental, and can get you in trouble with the law. Upcoding is the adding or switching codes with codes for more expensive procedures. Undercoding is omitting or changing codes into those for less expensive procedures. Miscommunication between coders and providers is a common reason for these errors. However, some do it intentionally to profit illegally.
Always double check the codes before submitting any claim. Take a class in medical billing and coding to ensure that the correct codes are used and to keep yourself updated with current billing and coding trends.
The healthcare industry is constantly changing, so you should always look for ways to maximize the efficiency and revenue of your practice. Be it healthcare or your billing system, always strive to provide the best for your patients and your practice will speak for itself.