Work smarter not harder!
Just like other businesses, this strategy really works in the healthcare industry too. Undoubtedly, efficiency in terms of both medical & non-medical obligations has always been a central goal for every healthcare provider. But, in this challenging era, medical practitioners are looking for smart ways to get more done in less time. Are you struggling to get your business out of the economic crisis i.e. declining reimbursements, high medical accounts receivable, low collection of co-pays & deductibles? Then don’t worry. It’s never too late. You can still break all the growth barriers, optimize cash reserves as well as streamline reimbursements.
Identify The Potential For Bad Debt
One can’t deny the fact that the ongoing pandemic has changed the healthcare collection landscape drastically. Hospitals have to shut down their non-emergency healthcare services. And spend a hefty amount in preparing their special care units to alleviate the sufferings of the affected patients. Which ultimately puts an extra financial burden on the medical practitioners. Meanwhile, the ever-evolving payer’s policies, medical billing and coding guidelines have made healthcare RCM more complicated than ever before. Moreover, the failure to keep up with all these changes. And maintaining the accuracy standards of the insurance claims ultimately results in the claim denials.
The inefficient management or ignoring the unresolved claims lead to backlogs and results in high medical accounts receivables. Eventually, you will lose your hard-earned revenue and put your practice at the risk of bad debt accrual. Furthermore, failure to collect co-pays and deductibles upfront is another major reason for the increasing bad debts. So, before implementing strategies to recover the payments that you’ve lost so far. It is crucial to dive into the root causes of the issue. Just think for a while, how can you take proper action, until you don’t know the root cause behind that particular issue. Therefore, perform a root cause analysis and get ready to save your healthcare business from significant financial loss.
Strategies To Dig Out Your Lost Payments
Do you want to take your business out of the crisis and set it up for maximum debt collections? Then you are at the right place. This article is comprehensive enough to address your financial challenges.
1. Collect Co-pays at the Time of Service
As we have already discussed, recovering payments from patients is one of the biggest challenges you may ever face. However, healthcare practices must clearly address the patients’ financial responsibilities, before they receive medical aid. For this purpose, make sure that your front-desk staff delivers complete information about the expected costs of the services before patients get registered. In this way, patients can make a better decision, whether or not they can afford the healthcare services. It will be beneficial for both patients as well as doctors. Besides, you should be very clear and concise about your payment policies.
In addition to this, experts highly recommend the collection of copays at the time of services rendered. This strategy will save your practice from all the hassle that your staff would undergo later. Sometimes, physicians find it impertinent to ask for payments upfront. Because it may sound weird to ask for compensation while providing medical care. But in reality, it’s not. Every patient is very much clear about his/her insurance coverage and their part to play. Reminding them about their financial responsibility isn’t impolite at all. It can help you to avoid challenges associated with the payment collections later. So, you should train your registration staff to make payment collections upfront a reality.
2. Make Payments Convenient
In this digital era, the unavailability of flexible payment options is another major factor. That holds patients back from paying their medical bills. Particularly, in the current scenario, where everybody is looking for convenient ways to pay their bills. If you are still forcing your patients to pay through cheques and cash, by paying physician visits. Then it not only impacts your collections but reputation as well. Hence, giving your patients multiple options i.e credit/debit cards, web banking or another mode of digital payments can make a huge difference in revenue collection.
3. Manage Medical Claims Efficiently
We all know the fact that a pile of unpaid claims is the major reason for increasing bad debts. Imagine, how would it impact when you shift your attitude from denial management to prevention? Sounds good to get maximum reimbursement without waiting for months or years? Obviously, it’s the dream of every healthcare provider to get their claims accepted on the very first attempt. To improve the claims success rate, it’s crucial that your claims process is being managed efficiently.
Either you hire an in-house billing team or manage the medical billing services in your hospital premises. It’s your responsibility to make sure that claims fulfill the following parameters.
Valid Patients’ Information:
You should always keep in mind that even a slight mistake in the patients’ demographic information can result in claim denials. So, make sure that your registration staff is efficient enough. They must have access to the latest technology to collect accurate and up-to-date patients’ information. Additionally, it’s also the responsibility of the medical billers to double-check the provided information to ensure the accuracy of claims.
Accurate Medical Coding:
Accurate coding is very important in terms of both financial as well as compliance management. Because some coding errors like; upcoding, undercoding, unbundling, can put your healthcare practice in financial & legal trouble. Because these practices are considered billing healthcare frauds.
As medical coding is a complicated procedure, you should never rely on inexperienced staff. You should hire certified medical coders, having in-depth knowledge about the latest coding classifications and more importantly your speciality. Medical claims with accurate codes for the patients’ diagnosis, treatments, have more chances to be accepted in the first place.
Priorities Unpaid claims
When denied medical claims left unattended, it leads to a pile of claims. That results in high medical accounts receivable and slows down your revenue cycle management. The billing team is responsible to stay connected with the payers to know the current stats of the claims. If a claim gets denied, they should take immediate action to rectify the errors. Then resubmit them within the given time frame.
Make a Huge Difference in Your Profitability
Increasing bad debts can be overwhelming for healthcare providers. But the implementation of the above-mentioned strategies can help you to make your business profitable. It’s worth mentioning here that along with these strategies. Outsourcing non-core functions i.e. the RCM process has become a new normal in the United States. Outsourced billing exerts work diligently to collect every single dollar on your behalf. Meanwhile, you also get rid of the excessive financial and administrative burden.
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