You don’t have to be told how time-consuming it can be to track down medical billing records when they’re in paper form. Yet, you still haven’t made the move to paperless for one reason or another.
Well, here’s a reason that may make you rethink this: not going paperless is costing you money.
If your medical practice is not paperless, you may be losing part of the estimated $300 billion a year lost due to the reliance on paper billing. And, despite what you may have heard or been told, going paperless is worth any challenge, time, or investment it takes. If you rely on an in-house staff that’s not fully specialized in your medical billing needs, you could be making matters worse.
That’s why it pays to have a professional medical billing service , whose sole focus is on maximizing profitability for a trans formative impact on your bottom line.
The Immediate Benefits of Going Paperless
If you decide to go paperless, the benefits are noticeable and fast:
- Increase in payments, particularly online
- Faster payments
- Improved patient retention
- Higher patient satisfaction
- Fewer collections, lower costs
Let’s see how going paperless could be one of the best investments you ever make for your medical practice. Best of all, it’s easier than you think – here are five steps to prove it.
1. No More Envelopes
Envelopes have increasingly become a thing of the past and are more expensive than you might realize, so make sure you’re in line with this. Throw in postage (especially prepaid), and you’ve got a major expense that’s easy to remove.
To ensure your patients are following suit, eliminate envelopes from your medical billing process. Here are several steps that can help:
- Do away with remittance envelopes from patient statements
- Install a user-friendly online payment system
- Remind patients from the beginning about the e-Statement payment process
- Email statements to your patients
2. Say Goodbye to Paper Checks
In line with removing envelopes is terminating paper checks from your medical or surgery billing process. If you’re like many doctors with their own practices, you don’t care for paper checks, so why continue accepting them?
It’s easy to set up a system that requires patients to pay via EFTs (electronic fund transfers), which will increase payment efficiency and, thus, your bottom line.
3. Online Portals
Once you’ve eliminated envelopes and paper checks – or at least once you make the decision to do so – set up a strong, easy-to-use online medical billing portal system that makes it easy for you to bill patients and for patients to pay you. Your patients can manage all of their healthcare payment processes including receiving e-Statements and paying online.
You may have to train your patients on this, especially those who’ve been with you through the paper era or aren’t so computer-savvy, but it shouldn’t be too difficult if you’re always communicating with them and reminding them of the process. For example, each time a patient comes in or contacts you, remind them of the process, including:
- Statement messages
- e-Statement signup
- Easy online payments
- Health care bill management
Don’t hesitate to promote the ease and efficiency of the process every chance you get.
4. Increase Payment Options
Though your practice might specialize in a particular niche of medicine or surgery, you want to make available a variety of options for your patients when it comes to medical billing and paying.
Allow your patients to pay through their bank’s bill portal. Offer them the option to pay via their smartphone, as well. These days, even health insurers have a billing portal that allows patients to pay through it.
The point is this: going paperless allows your patients more options to pay, which in turn, allows you to get paid faster and more efficiently. Learn more about medical billing and debt collections at Wikipedia.org.
5. Incentivize the Medical Billing Process
No, this doesn’t mean giving discounts or lowering the fees for your services. This means adding levity to your office environment by encouraging your staff to think creatively about how to set up the process and system that installs paperless billing.
It’s important that your staff buy into going paperless, so why not set up milestones for your staff, such as an office happy hour, for brainstorming the best system of going paperless or for not having received a paper payment for a month?
These little things can make a difference in the bottom line of your practice.
A Professional Medical Billing Service Can Help
If your staff is not made of specialists in medical billing and coding, then it might be a good idea to consider the services of a professional medical or surgery billing service who are composed of specialists focused on increasing your bottom line and the efficiency and speed of getting paid.
That leaves you time and energy to focus on what you and your staff do best.