Stay on Top of Patient EducationMany patients fail to understand insurance benefits and their personal liability for any given service. While that isn’t necessarily your fault, educating your patients about their responsibilities before and after services and procedures is a great way to ensure prompt payment. If a patient knows to expect a $1,000 bill for a procedure at their pre-op appointment a month in advance, they will not get sticker shock when the bill arrives. Your staff should be prepared to help estimate the cost of medical care before a patient arrives and during the visit. Call ahead to verify insurance benefits and coverage. The effort you invest beforehand will pay off in helping make your revenue cycle more predictable.
Utilize Analytics to Get a Clearer PictureDepending on what practice management software you use, there are different ways to view your revenue cycle analytics and financial data. Analytics give you insight into whether you’re headed in the right direction and where things could improve. Do you experience denials more frequently from one insurance provider? Are there certain codes you struggle to get approval for? Are you properly following up when things are denied? Many practices are surprised to see trends in their approvals, denials and revenue when they utilize analytics for the first time.
Think Like a BusinessYou went into healthcare to offer patients compassion and help people, which can seem contrary to the concept of operating your practice like a business. However, traditional retailers are able to collect payment without annoying customers by offering a great experience and establishing expectations right off the bat. Ultimately, establishing expectations will not only help make your revenue cycle more predictable but also increase patient satisfaction. In line with that retail mindset, you should accept multiple methods of payment and make paying as easy and convenient for the patient as possible. If you only accept cash or one type of credit card, you are preventing yourself from collecting payment in a timely fashion. When patients visit your practice, you can make payment part of the registration or check-out process by stationing your payment area in a location where patients will stop by before leaving. That way your first attempt to collect is made before the patient leaves the building.
Improve Your CollectionsEven if you are doing everything else promptly, an inability to collect can ruin your revenue cycle. If you are still sending paper invoices after appointments, try collecting payment immediately after the appointment or billing right away. The longer you wait to collect a payment, the lower the chances are that you will collect in a timely fashion – or at all. Partnering with a professional collection service like Alacrity Collections Corporation can be an effective way to increase your rate of collections and make your revenue cycle more predictable.
Other Posts You May be Interested In:
- 6 Signs You Need Help with Your Collections
- Should You Contact a Lawyer Or Collections Agency for Your Overdue Accounts?
- Surviving the Transition from Employed Doctor to Practice Owner
- Managing Accounts Receivable at a Small Medical Practice