Billing management errors can cost you money and time. By identifying some of the problems you might be creating, you can find solutions that will strengthen your process and improve your bottom line. Check out these six mistakes you might be making in billing management and suggestions on how you can start fixing them.
1. Poorly Thought Out Financial Policy
A poorly executed financial policy can mean you’re missing out on vital revenue and confusing patients. This lack of proper planning can shrink collections and cause AR headaches.
By drafting a straightforward and easy-to-understand patient financial policy, you take a crucial step in the patient revenue cycle. It is an opportunity for a practice to communicate their financial expectations to the patient and document their understanding. The more knowledge, the better.
- Create a clear and precise policy that details collection processes and methods.
- Establish a financial billing agreement that all patients keep a payment method on file.
2. Inaccurately Collecting Patient Information
Whether you are billing an insurance provider or collecting payment from a patient, gathering accurate information is the first step of the process. Failing to collect all the patient information from the start of a visit can lead to time and money spent down the road. It also delays revenue as you try to chase down information from a patient. When you gather all necessary patient information upfront, you can avoid many mistakes along the way.
Create a form that is easy to fill out (either hard copy or digital). It should include boxes for all the information you need from a patient to bill properly:
- Copy of driver’s license
- Cell phone
- Hardline phone
Additionally, you should:
- Obtain copy(s) (front & back) of insurance card(s)
- Obtain complete contact information
- Have payment option on file: CCOF – credit card or ACH
- Re-confirm contact info with recurrent patients
3. Failing to Follow-Up On Patient AR
Think of patient AR as another payer. Instead of contracting with the payers, you are contracting with each patient. A failure to take care of payment at the office visit means you have to follow up, wasting valuable and limited resources. And if you don’t have an automated system to send reminders, you’re going to miss out on revenue for services rendered. Meanwhile, your AR starts to grow.
- Add card reader machines at the check-in desk to eliminate wasted time keying in credit card information and provide instant verification.
- Enhance your collections process with the latest medical billing technologies, such as the automated revenue management tool, to set up reminders for payment.
- Keep credit card records for patients to speed up the payment process.
4. Not Having A “Click to Pay” Option
Patients always look for convenience, especially when paying a bill. To improve the patient experience and collect payments faster, create an easy payment process. Letting a patient know they can pay instantly online can alleviate many headaches.
- Add a simple but striking PAY HERE button directly on your homepage with a link to your pay portal to make payments easier for your patients. But make sure:
- It integrates with your practice management system for smooth payment posting.
- Patients can self-update insurance or CC information within the link to pay.
5. Not Having A Collection Agency Policy
Many providers are cautious about utilizing a collection agency, as they want to protect their relationship with patients. But if patients are not making timely payments, a collection agency can help bring in expected revenue and set clear expectations with patients. A lack of a clear policy can lead to confusion, anger, and distrust from valued patients.
We see many instances where customers follow up on unpaid balances once an agency sets clear expectations, thus minimizing the number of bills that agencies need to send to collections and increasing revenue.
Create a clear policy that informs the customer that the services provided require in-office payment or the provider must take further action.
6. Poorly Trained Staff
When the efficiency and profitability of your revenue cycle are at stake, you need expert billers on your team to ensure your facility’s success. An untrained staff means coding mistakes, lack of AR follow-through, and declining collections, which costs you valuable revenue.
Your staff will still need consistent training to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and coding regulations.
- Lack of consistent training is an overlooked aspect in offices. Many staff members receive one-time training with no annual follow-up.
- Your processes are only as good as the people implementing them.
- Regular training will keep staff educated and allow you to share innovations.
Questions about Medical Billing Management? Contact Coronis Health today!
Never Miss a Billing Mistake Again With Coronis Health’s Billing Management Checklist
Coronis Health has serviced over 100 healthcare partners and processes 6,000,000+ claims annually. With our more than 100 years of combined experience, we’ve witnessed billing departments making the same mistakes time and time again. That all changes with Coronis Health.
Click below to download the 6 most common mistakes we’ve come across and, more importantly, the steps you can take to start fixing them today.