As with any business, a healthy patient revenue cycle allows your healthcare practice to run smoothly. From the time the patient schedules an appointment to the complete resolution of their patient balance, there are many ways you can ensure the patient revenue cycle operates without disruptive hiccups.
Your primary goal with your patient account receivables is to get paid in a timely fashion and prevent bills from going to collections. However, between the strict regulations of healthcare and changing insurance landscape, it takes an updated way of operating.
With the right mix of technology and personnel, you can streamline your Patient Revenue Cycle for greater efficiency.
3 Essential Elements for a Successful Patient Healthcare Revenue Cycle Strategy
Every practice wants timely payment as well as happy patients.
It starts with understanding your analytics, having a patient education process in place, and ensuring your staff members are up-to-date in the latest techniques in patient balance resolution.
Let’s look at each in turn.
1. Utilize a Strong Data Analytics Platform to Manage the Billing Cycle
As you probably know, analytics tools can play a big role in medical bill recovery. They do this by using predictive modeling techniques to highlight monthly cash flow, assessing potential risks through medical coding, identifying key payers and patients, and much more.
Data analytics can help your healthcare practice develop a more efficient and streamlined billing process so that you collect payment earlier.
2. Provide Your Staff with the Latest Technology and Optimal Tools
Technology is a major component of the changing healthcare industry, including medical billing recovery.
For example, you can reduce costs (and time of payment) by offering your patients the ability to pay by credit card while they’re in the office and setting up a payment arrangement with the use of a credit card on file solution. People are accustomed to paying with credit and debit cards and if your practice still doesn’t have this capability, then it’s an unnecessary roadblock to efficient payment.
You can also decrease the time between statement and payment by sending electronic statements instead of snail mailing paper statements. Emailing statements trims the lag time by days or weeks and people are accustomed to the process so it’s easier for them.
You’ll also want to offer your patients a payment portal where they can review their healthcare bills and easily make payment via check or credit card. With the proliferation of online bill pay, it makes sense as people are already using these methods for other bills.
Adopt an Early Out system. This method can both increase patient satisfaction, as well as maximize timely payments. It works like this; well-trained representatives of the Early Out company contact your patients on behalf of your billing office within a few days of their visit. They’re able to answer questions your patient may have and work out satisfactory payment arrangements including offering prompt pay discounts to speed up your cash flow.
3. Educating Patients about the Costs they are Responsible for
With ever-changing insurance regulations, patients often don’t know what they’re responsible for and what their insurance covers. Hopefully, your staff reviews financial expectations when their patient schedules a visit and again when they arrive and depart.
However, patient-friendly statements play a role too. Instead of confusion, these patient friendly statements clearly outline the patient’s responsibilities that will match their Explanation of Benefits and what they learned from your staff.
As you know, the healthcare revenue cycle often slows down when patients receive unexpected bills. A claim may have to be re-submitted to insurance, only to be rejected multiple times.
This delay in claim adjudication can take weeks or months and if you’re using the standard medical services collection process, the patients’ bill could end up flowing to collections leaving your patient confused and unhappy.
One primary benefit of using an Early Out company is your practice will accelerate your cash flow by recovering more dollars during the first 120 days that the balance is still with your practice while significantly reducing the amount of accounts you send to collections.
It’s easy to see the benefits of outsourcing your receivables management to the experts. Halo A/R Management is a revenue cycle management company. Our proactive approach works with your billing department to communicate effectively with patients and help them make their payments in a more timely manner. To learn more, schedule a free consultation to see how we can help at http://bit.ly/2vKDMtU
David Hirsch is a co-founder and principal of iQuantified Management Services, a medical collection agency headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, and of Halo AR Management, its partner group that specializes in Early Out, first-party recovery solutions. Both companies seek to distinguish themselves with personalized customer service and by preserving the respect between health care providers and their patients.