Anyone working in the healthcare field will likely have a personal story, or will know of someone in the healthcare industry who has had to deal with mishandled patient accounts and billing. Running a medical practice is hard work, and the last thing any doctor, nurse, or administrative staff needs is more stress from improper billing and accounting information when it comes to their practice. Setting up proper medical billing is important, and it starts long before a patient comes into a medical practice for a visit. Working with a medical billing company can save a medical practice thousands, even millions of dollars in lost revenue through a comprehensive revenue cycle management system.
Medical Billing Services can positively impact your healthcare practice, for both medical and administrative staff, as well as for patients.
Before The Appointment
Before a patient comes into a medical practice for an appointment the process of revenue cycle management should begin. Working with a medical billing company that specializes in comprehensive revenue cycle management will help practices collect important patient information to help medical billing. This starts with pre-insurance eligibility questions to ensure patients have the insurance coverage required for their visit. Patient insurance and demographic information should also be noted. Even something as simple as reminder phone calls to patients can have a big impact on medical practices. One study showed that a medical practice can lose 3 to 14 percent of their annual income due to cancelled or missed appointments. Finally, patient collection tools will help track information for future reports and areas of improvements. A company specializing in medical billing services will use these tools to help eliminate lost revenue, even before a medical appointment.
Submitting an Insurance Claim
Medical coding and claims scrubbing is important to ensure the insurance claims that a practice submits are accurate and follow all government and insurance reimbursement. Incorrectly coded insurance claims results in lost income, time, and energy for a practice. Patient invoicing will allow practices to maintain proper and accurate records of all patient invoices, and this extends to electronic invoices as well. In fact, many practices are accepting electronic payments thanks to working with professional medical billing service. Finally for insurance claims that are denied, an aggressive denial management will help to minimize loss of revenue. When submitting an insurance claim working with a medical billing service will help to ensure the claim is accurate and submitted properly, which will help to maximize profits while minimizing lost revenue.
After Payment and Reconciliation
After payment is made, and all insurance claims are filed the work of medical billing services is far from over. Electronic admittance advice will show medical practices information about any filed claims, including important information about why any relevant claims were denied. An explanation of benefits statement will provide important billing and insurance information for insurance companies, patients, and the medical practice. Finally for cash transactions, cash balance reconciliation should be made. A medical billing service will be able to provide accurate and thorough payment and reconciliation for a medical practice.
Getting electronic admittance advice and explanation of benefits statements are important, but having internal financial reports to help a medical practice chart growth and loss in regards to their finances is also important. After all it is hard for a practice to know what aspects of their medical practice to improve or change if a practice cannot see there is a problem to begin with. While practices may do quarterly or yearly reviews a professionally run medical billing service should offer monthly, customizable financial reviews. The customizable reports will allow the medical practice to track the information that is most relevant to their practice’s bottom line, and monthly reports will allow the practice to see what areas are most relevant to focus on in real time.
When it comes to medical billing services at your practice you want to work with a company who has a history maximizing revenue, reducing cost, accelerating cash flow, improving productivity and efficiency, and helping the longevity of your medical practice. Research companies carefully before you choose. Look at their track-record, custom service and customer reviews. These will help you decide which company to consider and which ones to avoid.
This article was written by Gil Molstad, who has been in the healthcare industry for several years and he has written countless articles, papers and books on the subject, especially medical billing services.