Your practice relies on an effective billing strategy to thrive. However, most practice owners did not become doctors because they are fascinated by revenue cycle management. If you are like most small to medium doctor-owned practices, your main interest is in providing excellent healthcare to your patients, even if you are very aware that software and effective billing are necessary to turn a profit. If you feel like your practice is ‘just getting’ by in survival mode, rather than thriving with a strong revenue strategy, know that you are not alone.
Let 2019 be the year you resolve to set yourself and your practice up for continued success with these tips for healthcare practice owners looking to reevaluate their billing strategy.
It might seem like compartmentalizing upfront and back payment tasks in the revenue cycle management process is the only effective strategy for time management, but better collaboration and knowledge sharing between these two distinct roles can lead to a better understanding of the whole process. These roles can inform each other on how to be a more effective part of the total system.
Encourage your front staff to understand more about payment and claim problems your practice faces in the back business office, and they can be a part of finding solutions to reduce time and energy needed for your practice overall. When the front desk sees where patients accounts stand in terms of the overall revenue cycle and understand how capturing accurate patient information is so important to billing workflow, they can help to better anticipate and even mitigate possible payment challenges earlier on in your practice’s process.
If you haven’t already had a training experience with MacPractice, or if you want to tighten up your collaboration with the help and advice of an expert, our Training team can assist you with team training over the phone or at your office.
Cut the Complexity
When it comes to healthcare billing, there is no shortage of opportunities for small mistakes to become big headaches. Simple coding errors can lead to rejections, and sometimes even your best efforts can lead to a frustrating cascade of paperwork. Reducing the complexity your practice environment upfront can eliminate room for these types of cascading mistakes.
For example, one major way to cut through complexity in terms of the revenue cycle is to collect payment upfront at the point of service, if you don’t already. Make collecting patient payments as simple as possible with clear communication and tools like the AuthPayX credit card processing system that allows you to process credit card payments and refunds directly from the MacPractice Ledger.
Automating appointment reminders with AutoRemind and phone integration with Jive can also help you streamline your front desk workflow and cut through complexities that are holding you back.
Revenue hangs in the balance as you follow up with insurance companies and patients to get paid what you are owed. Not only do these delays interrupt your practice’s revenue flow, they can also take a great deal of time, effort, and persistence to overcome.
Managing claims is an increasingly complex process in an evolving healthcare landscape. Automating the denial management process with claim checking and establishing an effective workflow is key to getting reimbursements from rejections and denials more quickly. Identify the predominant causes of the denials your practice sees and reexamine your workflow in this specific area. The same strategy can be applied to managing resolutions and reducing your write-offs. This will not only help get delays back on track quickly, but it can also help you keep the number of days in accounts receivable at a minimum.
It is likely clear that incorrectly coding a service will leads to claims denials, but it can be more complicated to understand how to avoid coding errors in the first place. Some of the most frequent coding errors since ICD-10 has been implemented include inaccurately applied diagnostic procedure codes and inappropriate use of guidance tools. Just like with claim rejections, notice audit where your practice’s coding errors are occurring most frequently and devise a strategy to overcome the obstacle.
Providing thorough training to your clinical staff on ICD-10 coding updates and tools can help reduce these uncertainties. For example, your clinical staff can take advantage of the ICD-10 Diagnoses Favorites feature to cut down on errors by designating aliases for your most commonly used codes. Quality training can also help your staff understand the importance of quality communication with clinicians where there may be any issues with documentation or the patient’s record.
Call in professional help
Healthcare practice owners have major choices about billing systems to make from the very start of their practice that can set the tone for years to come. Billing is time-consuming and complex, but without the proper attention to your billing process, your practice can easily lose out on thousands of dollars in reimbursements and may not even stay afloat. In the spirit of reevaluating, you may find that your initial choices no longer scale to what your practice has become. It might not continue to be the best option to keep a certified medical coder on staff, or to hire a biller that is on top of changing regulatory framework. Simply put: is it still even worth it for you to do your own coding/billing or should you hire a coding or billing service?
MacPractice Business Services can reduce rejections and denials, increase collections, and get your accounts receivable under control. Alleviating the burden of billing and coding can result in more money for your practice, and more time for your staff to focus on other tasks. We assign you with a primary and secondary billing representative for continuity, and our staff is fully trained and up-to-date on billing in a variety of specialties, all with a team of supervisors and managerial staff to monitor your account. Our mission is to enhance profitability for healthcare professionals through savvy revenue management and steadfast customer service. Request a quote to see if our services are right for your practice.
MacPractice is built for simplicity in practice. Cutting through the complexity is at our core. "Simplicity in practice" is especially appreciated by healthcare professionals and healthcare billing and coding professionals that work in the complexity of the average small practice working environment. Whether it is billing or clinical documentation, we want you to be able to focus on your patients, not your software.