While a lot has changed in the past few years, the most persistent is that no matter where you go, businesses are understaffed and overworked, and people are on the edge of burnout. This is the same in most medical practices and specialty clinics, including urgent care clinics. Unfortunately, when most of your limited time is spent on patient care, the thing that often falls by the wayside is paperwork, including your in-house billing. However, if you aren’t billing for your services, you aren’t getting paid, and your business will only last for a while. You should find the right partner to handle your urgent care billing to get back into a good workflow.
Billing Should Follow SOPs
The best way to bolster revenue cycle management is to have and always follow your SOPs or Standard Operating Procedures. A good SOP starts with well-defined steps and policies. There should be checks and balances so that standards are followed consistently. Good SOPs ensure that everyone’s expectations and actions align, that all steps of a process are followed and that the required steps are done promptly.
While you can never do away with exceptions entirely, you can minimize them and decrease their impact on your processes. Having a claim go through cleanly is infinitely easier than having it be denied and having to resubmit. In fact, on average, having to resubmit for a denied claim takes about five times the amount of work. Getting this right starts with your front desk staff since most mistakes are made in intake. Switching to electronic registration systems and utilizing real-time eligibility verification are the best ways to limit these errors.
Simplify The Upfront Payment Process
Not all of your revenue is going to come from billing. Some may be paid by the patient when services are rendered, either as co-pays or directly for those who don’t have insurance. Make sure your front desk staff feels comfortable asking for payment; if they don’t, swap them for someone who does. Giving that person a script to work off of can make the process even easier. Finally, utilize all of your available technology to stay on top of your accounts receivables and to help your patients stay on top of their payments. Use text reminders for balances due and consider employing a call center for follow-ups. For your in-house staff, ensure that your computer system accurately tracks payments and past due balances and that your SOPs include checking status during check-in.
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