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4 strategies for more effective medical billing

By Isaac Smith

The medical billing process can be a time-consuming endeavor, but there are several ways you can improve your practice’s revenue flow. Here are five strategies for increasing your medical billing efficiency.

1 Ensure transparency in payments

Whether you provide in-network or out-of-network services, patients are looking for more transparency from their healthcare providers. They want to know what they can expect and what is included in the price tag. And they are willing to pay for it if you deliver on your promises.

One of the most important aspects of medical office administration is billing and collections. A good revenue cycle tool will help you to be more transparent by generating reliable out-of-pocket cost estimates at the time of service, as well as helping you to identify and meet compliance requirements. Keeping patients informed and up to date on their bills is essential for maintaining good standing with payers, and avoiding collection issues that can lead to denial of claims or bad debt.

A good practice management system offers a variety of tools for billing, including tools for quotes and estimates. These tools will tell you what you are owed for your procedures and give you the option to offer payment plans or financing.

2 Establish a patient communication workflow

A patient communication workflow is an essential component of a medical practice. It helps ensure that patients are aware of their health insurance coverage, explains any co-pays, and offers clear billing statements. It also improves your practice’s overall cash flow, making it easier for you to pay your bills and make sure all claims are processed efficiently.

In the past, many practices relied on paper-based processes for processing, submitting, and billing insurance claims. These methods were time-consuming and error-prone.

However, modern technology has made this process much more efficient. Medical billing software allows practices to generate and send invoices, receipts, and reminders electronically. This saves a lot of time and money, and it streamlines communications with patients.

Having clear communication between your medical team and your patients about what is owed by the insurance provider and what is left for your practice to collect is one of the best ways to increase your revenue and improve your financial situation. By ensuring that you transfer any outstanding balances to your patients and sending them clear statements, you can make it more likely that they will pay on time and in full.

To establish a patient communication workflow, you need to identify how your patients prefer to be communicated with throughout their appointment journey. Text messaging is an effective tool for this purpose, as it enables real-time two-way communication, pre-screening questions, “park & wait” communications and more.

3 Collect co-pays at the time of service

One of the most effective revenue cycle management strategies practices can use when billing services for their patients is to collect co-pays at the time of service. By taking advantage of this time during patient visits, your practice will be able to capture a large amount of revenue immediately and avoid having to wait for the reimbursement from insurance companies.

When a patient comes into your practice for an appointment, your front desk staff should verify their eligibility and benefits using the insurance card they are provided with. This will give you an accurate estimate of what their insurance covers and help you to better understand the reimbursement process.

Once you know their insurance coverage, it is important to determine if there are any deductibles associated with that insurance plan. Most high-deductible health plans don’t pay for medical services unless the patient’s deductible has been met and their out-of-pocket maximum has been fulfilled.

This is why it is crucial to make a rule in your practice that patients must have their deductibles met prior to receiving any medical services from you. It’s also a good idea to inform your patients of this upfront so that they can prepare accordingly.

Another way to ensure that your patients are aware of their deductibles is to instruct your front desk to collect them at the time of service. This is a simple and effective way to prevent any awkward conversations that could occur later on. It can even save your practice a significant amount of time and hassle, so it is worth the effort to implement this strategy.

4 Send clear statements

As healthcare providers, it is essential for medical offices to ensure that their medical billing services are professionally and reliably handled. This includes making sure that insurance claims are submitted accurately, patient balances are collected efficiently and revenue is being closely managed.

While billing is typically an in-house task for many practices, there are certain times when it may be beneficial to outsource your medical billing tasks. Using a third-party billing service can save your practice time, money, and energy while giving your staff more time to focus on patient care and other areas of your business.

A good billing company can provide a variety of services for your practice, including submitting claims, handling patient balances, collecting co-pays, and generating reports. In addition, it can help your practice manage revenue more effectively and increase your cash flow.

If your practice is not seeing the level of cash flow you are accustomed to, it is likely time to consider outsourcing your medical billing needs. By partnering with a medical billing company, you can reduce overhead costs, improve your cash flow, and eliminate unproductive training periods.

In addition to assisting with your practice’s medical billing operations, an external billing provider can also help you monitor and trend key billing metrics so that you can identify trends, challenges and opportunities. This can enable you to make timely, informed decisions on how best to improve your financial performance and meet your goals.

It is crucial to send clear statements when billing services for your practice. This will help you avoid unnecessary charges and denials from insurance companies while ensuring that your patients have all of the information, they need to pay their bills.

Isaac Smith is a healthcare professional with over 13 years of experience in healthcare administration, medical billing and coding and compliance. He holds several AAPC specialty certifications and has a bachelor’s degree in health administration. He worked previously at a large behavioral or drugs rehab billing centers and now works for Medcare Mso in the dermatology RCM department writing articles about medical billing and coding. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience as a certified PMCC instructor.