Poor management of your revenue cycle can cause an insurmountable loss of revenue and put the practice at serious risk. Physicians, assistants, administrators and staff members all contribute to the revenue cycle at some point in the process. With these seven tips, you can reinvigorate your revenue cycle and lessen the uncertainty of waiting for payments on services you’ve rendered.
- Prioritize accuracy. Among the most common reasons for claim denials are incomplete or inaccurate data. Denials are not only frustrating, they prolong the period of time during which your practice remains unpaid for services rendered. Make data collecting and entry a priority for your staff and provide incentives for high performance.
- Hire good people - and continue their training. Educate each member of the team on how they contribute to the success of your revenue cycle management. This doesn’t just mean that staff must enter patient data correctly. Physicians are included here too and must provide accurate treatment information.
- Examine insurance contracts. The adage, “Read the fine print” applies here; if you don’t have a staff member who can translate legalese, take the contracts to a lawyer for assistance. Knowing what your contract stipulates can increase your reimbursement percentage.
- Stay up to date on the laws. Healthcare is one of today’s hottest topics for legislators. Legislative changes will have an impact on your practice; make sure that your understanding of how laws currently affect revenue cycle management.
- Devise a process for denied claims. Respond quickly to a denial and provide your staff with a chain of command that they can appeal to for help.
- Monitor patient balances. The best way to avoid large patient balances is to request payment during check in. This might not always be possible for your practice. If so, keep a close eye on patient balances and keep patients up to date by reminding them of their balance at the time of their office visit. While this can cause discomfort among staff, training in calm and respectful customer service will make them more confident.
- Leave paper behind. Software to help manage the revenue cycle, from benefits verification to electronic remittance advices, can streamline your process and minimize errors.