Modern Medical Billing: Best Practices to Improve Accuracy and Efficiency
Medical billing can be an exhausting and complicated process that leaves health care professionals and patients alike frustrated. Medical professionals want to clear the bills so they can keep their revenue up, and patients want a simple process that doesn’t make payments feel like a chore.
The good news is that there are ways to satisfy both health care workers and patients. There are some basic practices that make medical billing easier and more effective, keeping the cash flow moving and the patients happy. Medical billing is crucial to every medical company, so streamlining your processes are a sure way to keep the revenue coming in. Here are some of the best practices to use.
Train Your Staff Properly
As with most things in business, a well-trained staff can make everything easier. If all of your billing staff knows and understands what is expected of them at all times, then you have a great chance of collecting more outstanding invoices much more quickly.
First, make it clear to your staff that the billing process should begin as soon as the patient signs in. All of the vital information of the patient — name, date of birth, license number and insurance information — is filled out correctly. Making a mistake at this point can cost you a lot in the future, so your staff must understand that all patient information should be accurate and up to date.
Over the next few days or weeks after a patient has been seen, make sure that any time your staff contacts them for any reason that they should mention the invoice that will be arriving shortly. They should mention the total balance and all of the payment options that the patient may have. This will make the patient more comfortable about the billing process and is an easy way to get that process moving.
Be Clear on Your Prices
It’s good practice to have as much billing information posted around your offices as is tactful. You don’t want to go overboard with postings, but you want to make your information as clear to the patients as you can.
Many times, patients have no idea how much they will be paying, be it because they aren’t sure about their insurance plan or because they just don’t know how much everything costs. This isn’t fair to the patient. If you have your prices listed somewhere or if you guide the patients through the costs of each procedure when they visit, they will know what to expect. They can also tell you if they can afford to pay for certain procedures.
You can also run a check on their insurance coverage before they visit so you know what they can afford and you can help them plan out the best course of action.
Play Hardball With Insurance Companies
Sometimes, insurance companies will drag their feet to pay outstanding invoices and you and your staff need to be firm and persistent until you settle the claim.
You need to write down any information you can whenever you are in contact with the insurance company. That means names of people you talk to, claim reference numbers and call reference numbers, and any information you deem vital during the conversation, This way, you will be able to recall past discussions with ease.
Also, don’t be afraid to contact the company every day if the invoice remains outstanding for a long period of time. You can also try to move up the “chain of command” as it were, speaking to supervisors and higher administrators until your claim in settled.
Enlist the Help of Professionals
You may be too busy to handle your claims in house (which is a good thing!), so you may want to find the help of professionals that can do it for you.
Look for a professional service that is both affordable but large enough and reputable enough that you know they can get the job done. They will be able to focus their attention on your outstanding claims, while you can focus on giving the best possible care to your patients.
Professionals may even make your patients feel more comfortable when they are in contact with them rather than people from your staff. They are trained in collections and may be able to better persuade and assure the patients than other health care professionals may be able to.
There is more information to read at MaximizedRevenue.com.
Don’t let medical billing be a hassle. Try these practices and you’ll see results.
Ellie Sanderson works in the Patient Accounts office and enjoys writing articles about the new technology that hospitals, medical centres and doctor’s offices are adopting to keep up with the needs of the modern patient.