5 Epic Medical Billing Tips To Improve Collections By The End Of The Year
The fourth quarter of the year can be a gift or a curse for healthcare practices. Some practices get the gift of improved patient outcomes and better revenue. While other practices get the expletive of patient’s engagement and minimum reimbursement. One of the most important aspects that every healthcare organization should prioritize is medical billing and collection to drive better revenue.
If you need to quickly ramp up your billing collections, here are the 5 incredible medical billing tips to generate greater revenue right now.
1. Learn your billing flow completely
It’s hard to come up with a solution when you don’t fully understand the problem. When trying to smooth out any kinks in your billing process, your first responsibility is to get a full grasp of how medical billing works.
In general, the medical billing process can be broken down into six parts:
Verifying insurance eligibility – Make sure the patient carries health insurance that your facility accepts.
Collecting the patient’s portion – Patients are typically responsible for paying some amount of the overall cost for their visit, while the insurance company pays the rest of the medical bill. Make sure the patient is informed about their financial responsibility for patient collections.
Sharing procedure and diagnosis codes for each patient visit – In many healthcare facilities, there is a person called a medical coder whose job is to act as a go-between for providers and insurers. For every procedure or diagnosis that the provider undertakes with a patient, there is a corresponding code. This code eventually gets sent to the insurer for reimbursement. First, the provider shares it with the coder.
Verifying the proper code selection – Once the coder receives the code, they analyze it to make sure the insurance provider chose the right one. The coder should be knowledgeable in the specifics of procedure coding so that they can add any necessary modifiers to describe the treatment that was given. The practice of accurate medical coding is essential for maximizing revenue.
Entering claims into practice management software – Now that the patient’s medical procedures and treatments have been accurately coded, they can be submitted as a medical claim to their insurance company via your practice management software.
Receiving reimbursement – When the patient’s insurance company receives your claim, they choose to either accept or deny it. If they accept the claim, you will receive a reimbursement, and any remaining balance will be sent back to the patient. If they deny your claim or only partially reimburse you for the medical services rendered, you must address this as soon as possible to maintain your cash flow.
2. Train Your Staff as the medical billing experts
Knowledge, mentorship, and practice are your strongest allies in the fight against lost revenue. Once you get to know your billing process inside and out, you should share that information with your staff and help them develop into billing experts, too.
Much of revenue delays, especially denied claims, are caused by preventable errors in billing procedures. Having a well-trained staff at your front desk ensures that patients’ insurance policies are always verified correctly, proper copays are calculated, and claims are sent to insurers with all of the accurate medical codes.
3. Don’t forget to include your patients in the medical billing process
One of the biggest roadblocks standing in the way of a smooth cash flow is the inability to collect from the patient at the time of service.
Don’t assume that every patient knows they are responsible for their portion of the cost of their medical services. Some people may not be fully informed about their insurance plan, policy, copays, deductibles, and so on.
Also, don’t take it for granted that every patient knows they can pay their portion at the time of service. If you empower patients to pay on the day of their visit, some patients may opt for this route.
Your cash flow could be negatively affected if you’re billing patients by mail, following up with them about their bills over the phone, and even trying to recoup their overdue payments through a collections agency. To avoid this, you can:
- Figure out the patient’s payment responsibility before their visit
- Consistently keep each patient informed about their payment responsibility
- Take care of services that require pre-authorization in advance
- Set clear expectations and have price transparency regarding your payment policy
- Post signs in your facility announcing that payments must be collected upfront
4. Pay close attention when managing claims
Insurance claims can be complicated and dense, plus insurance companies are notoriously strict about rejecting claims that have errors. This makes for a situation where you may not receive reimbursement until months after your rendered services, due to a constant cycle of submitting claims, getting denials, editing your claims, and finally resubmitting them correctly.
Paying close attention to the details of each claim can do wonders for your overall patient collections and cash flow. Some of the most common errors on insurance claims include:
- Incorrect patient information such as name and date of birth
- Incorrect provider information such as address and contact information
- Incorrect insurance information such as payer ID and policy number
- Illegible written documentation
- Missing claim number references on appeals of denied claims
5. Make the best use of medical billing software
Technology can play a central role in streamlining the billing process. At its most basic, technology can give patients multiple ways to pay through seamless digital transactions. Newer technology, such as advanced medical billing software, can connect the various departments of medical practice and create a more continuous flow of information between doctors, staff, and administrators.
Some of the best medical software systems like Vozo can help automate steps in the billing process, such as suggesting medical codes and checking medical claims against common insurance payer rules for reimbursement.
Struggling to improve your collections?
The fourth quarter is closing and you need to hit your goals quickly. That’s why the Vozo team is here to offer the best medical billing software and solutions for your healthcare practice.
You don’t have to wait for years to improve your medical billing and collections. Give a try to Vozo to find the best way to success
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