Healthcare providers change and save lives every day — but unfortunately, receiving payment for the medical care you provide isn’t always easy. Is your practice struggling with weak medical billing collection processes? Although medical practices are rarely thought of as businesses, revenue is necessary to keep your practice running. If you need to improve your medical billing and collections process or you’re looking for opportunities to improve your revenue cycle, here are several best practices you should consider.
Get Better Data on Your Medical Billing Practices
If your practice is losing money or not growing as you expect it to, then you need access to better data. Most medical billing systems will allow you to run reports (and if yours doesn’t, you need an upgrade). You want data that helps you identify: gaps in your collections process, what your patient’s financial responsibility is vs. what their insurance policies cover, and red flags like:
Treating a high volume of patients only to find out their health insurance isn’t valid.
Seeing frequent returns or denials on insurance claims.
Difficulty getting patients to pay bills promptly or understand the billing process.
These are all common culprits, but there are other problems you need may need to resolve.
Avoid Sending Unexpected Medical Bills
Patients may not always understand their payment obligations or even their health insurance coverage. When patients don’t understand their bills, they’re less likely to pay. But when you and your patients are aligned with expectations, you can develop a plan together and even point patients toward financial assistance options like payment plans.
Collect Copayments at Time of Service
The easiest way to ensure you’re not losing money repeatedly is to collect copayments once care has been delivered. Make sure your copayment policy is clear and always offer to reschedule a patient visit if they’re unprepared to pay*. If you offer payment plans for patient balances, make sure patients understand the details. That includes the payment amount and payment schedule expectations—this way patients are dissuaded from using confusion as an excuse for delaying or refusing payment.
*You and your office staff will have to exercise judgment as to your ethical responsibilities for instances like this depending on a patient’s needs at that time.
Give Your Patients as Many Payment Options as Possible
The easier it is for patients to pay you, the better. There’s nothing wrong with steering people toward certain forms of payment, but provide a few options to guarantee prompt payment.
If you offer a payment portal online, you’ll probably get much quicker results than if you require patients to put something in the mail. And with the push for digital access to patient information and payments, setting your practice up with a payment portal is essential.
Use Integrated EHR Practice Management Software
Electronic health records or EHRs are known to improve the overall efficiency of medical practices as well as improve overall financial standing. EHR software can be integrated with medical billing systems and practice management software to make billing a breeze.
Together, platforms like Benchmark EHR and Benchmark PM can seamlessly connect your entire practice with front-desk workflows, patient insurance information, medical claims, procedure or diagnois codes, and billing information.
Verify Patients’ Insurance Coverage
By verifying insurance eligibility, you decrease the chances of rendering services to a patient who won’t be able to pay their bills. This is especially true in instances when you’re offering services that may not be deemed medically necessary. By working with health insurance companies to grant patients prior authorization, you can ensure everyone’s on the same page with payment obligations.
Outsource Your Medical Billing Collections
If your practice is pouring too much time and resources into collections for your medical billing process, your best option may simply be to outsource the process with medical billing services. By having trained agents handling insurance companies, patients, and your revenue cycle, you’ll have a more profitable practice while you focus on the part that you do best: providing outstanding healthcare.
Does your medical billing systems or collection practices need improvement? Benchmark Systems is here to help! Our team of experts is skilled in submitting claims, following up on denied claims, and bubbling up outstanding bills to collection agencies. Contact us today to learn how our company can assist your practice with medical billing collection services, implementation, and optimization.