Due to the unprecedented challenges in the healthcare industry, maintaining a healthy cash flow has become a daunting task for medical practitioners. Because keeping a balance between the growing number of patients as well complications in medical billing services has become a major headache for them.
Medical practitioners have only two options for their financial management, either outsource or keep billing services in-house. If you just pay attention to providing quality care to your patients and ignore the revenue cycle management, then you may end up with revenue loss and even a critical financial crisis.
Sometimes, healthcare providers don’t hire a separate team for the non-medical obligations of their medical practices. And put the responsibilities of medical billing to the existing staff, that is already doing multiple tasks. In such circumstances, they can’t pay proper attention to financial matters and may submit erroneous medical claims. A slight error or mistake can lead to claim denials, which slows down the revenue cycle management of your medical practice.
Physicians must understand the fact that without optimization of the medical billing process, they would have to face dire consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the key factors that cause revenue leakage. It will make it easier for you to minimize errors and streamline the cash flow of your medical practice.
Is your medical practice struggling with constant revenue leakage? Then you should adopt the following strategies to get your practice back on track.
1. Collect Accurate Information
In order to improve the medical billing services, you should make sure that patients’ information is accurate and complete. Because a medical claim gets denied due to the mistake in the patient’s name, address, birth date, work as well as insurance information.
Additionally, asking patients to bring insurance cards at every visit is an excellent practice that can be extremely helpful in maximizing payment collections. Because it is possible that your patients recently changed their insurance policies due to certain reasons. When you process the medical claims with accurate and recent information, it ultimately reduces the chances of claim denials. As a result, you can enjoy a healthy cash flow.
In order to improve the information flow throughout the healthcare revenue cycle management, you should hire highly trained front-desk staff. Because the journey of medical claims starts when they collect the patients’ information at their first visit.
In addition to this, healthcare providers should make sure that their registration staff is not using manual methods to collect and process the data. Because paper filing increases the chances of errors. Therefore, front-end staff should adopt electronic solutions to increase the accuracy of information.
2. Avoid Coding Errors
It has been observed that wrong medical coding is one of the biggest reasons that slow down medical billing services. Because coding errors lead to a delay in payments. Medical coding occurs due to inadequate or improper medical documentation. Because the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding systems are so complex, with millions of code combinations, it’s not surprising that coding errors often lead to claim denials.
Apart from this, inadequately trained medical coders or lack of ongoing training to the coders is also a reason for coding errors. Because it is possible that they wrongly translate the patients’ diagnoses and medical procedures into medical codes.
Coding errors not only lead to revenue loss but also impact patients’ care. No doubt, the basic purpose of every medical practitioner is to provide quality care to the patients. But the wrong medical coding could directly impact a patient’s treatment.
For instance, inaccurate diagnostic codes could result in improper patient care. Which may result in a damaged reputation as well as losing valuable patients.
Some coding errors such as upcoding, under coding, and unbundling, are considered as medical abuse or fraud, which can land healthcare providers in legal troubles.
In order to avoid such inconvenience, you should hand over this responsibility to only certified medical coders, who have the extensive industry experience to perform this task. You should take appropriate measures to train your coding staff on a regular basis to update their knowledge.
3. Timely Submission of Clean Claims
The optimization of medical billing services is highly dependent on the effective management of medical claims. You should keep in mind that insurance companies strictly follow the deadlines and time limit given to submit the medical claims. Therefore, you should closely monitor the performance of your medical billers to make sure that they are submitting the claims in a timely manner.
Moreover, it is estimated that around 80% of submitted claims contain errors i.e. incorrect patients’ information, coding errors, and duplicate billing. Payers don’t accept such claims and physicians lose a significant amount of their revenue.
So, in order to keep the claims process on the right track, medical billers should adopt a systematic approach. They should double-check the provided information and medical coding to ensure the submission of error-free claims.
Furthermore, it has been also observed that many health care providers have a long list of pending claims that can only be retrieved when professional medical billers follow up unpaid claims. Medical billers should implement a proper denial management system to appeal the denied claims on a priority basis. Which expedites the revenue collections management.
4. Outsource Medical Billing
In this challenging era, health care providers don’t have sufficient time to manage the medical billing process along with patients’ care. Therefore, they prefer to outsource billing and coding services to a reliable medical billing company. Outsourced billing experts eliminate your excessive burden and allow you to concentrate on patients’ care. Moreover, you can also save a significant amount of money in terms of operational costs. They have the extensive industry experience to handle revenue cycle management efficiently.
Medcare MSO has over 12 years of experience in providing optimized medical billing services across the United States. We have expertise in billing 30+ specialties in multiple states across the country. Visit our website to request a free demo.