Medical billing service is perhaps the most important administrative tasks a doctor’s office or medical facility has to contend with on a regular basis. One of the challenges facing administrative staff is the increasingly complex and ever-evolving laws and regulations surrounding medical billing service.
In order to keep the office running smoothly in light of these developments, it is important to make the medical billing process as efficient and streamlined as possible. The following are a few suggestions on how to make that happen.
1. Make sure all patients sign all relevant medical forms
One of the biggest headaches that can occur during the medical billing process is having a claim rejected or delayed due to missing patient signatures. Creating a standard process through which front office staff can get every necessary patient signature before they leave the office can save a significant amount of time and difficulty later on.
2. Have a dedicated staff member for medical billing
Properly medical billing requires a significant attention to detail. Constantly being interrupted by other office tasks or by incoming and outgoing patients can cause distractions that lead to mistakes. If possible, try to have one staff member whose sole responsibility during a particular period of time is taking care of all medical billing and coding. Since this can be fairly monotonous if it is their sole job, offices are probably better off giving the responsibility in shifts, say one morning or one afternoon per staff member per week. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the medical billing industry as a whole will increase in 2015 as well. In fact, it is estimated that the industry will grow by about 22% between 2012 and 2022.
Outsourcing medical billing service entirely is also a good option for various reasons explained here.
3. Have a standard process for following through on delinquent claims
Allowing delinquent claims to pile up can have a significant impact on the revenue and overall cash flow of a doctor’s office. Implementing a standard process through which all delinquent claims are handled can save time and ensure that all claims are being paid on time. For some offices, this means outsourcing medical billing to a third party. For those who are unwilling or unable to take that step, software that helps handle delinquent claims can be very helpful.
4. Use technology and software whenever possible
This is similar to the suggestion above, but a bit more general. Computers, tablets, and software can save a doctor’s office a lot of the time they would otherwise be spending on medical billing. When used properly, technology and software can reduce the number of human errors that are possible, and take some of the burden off of administrative staff. One essential key to using technology is making sure that the administrative staff knows how to use it properly, as there are few things worse than having hundreds of patent files incorrectly generated.
5. Have all relevant patient data
This suggestion is good for more than just efficient billing, it is just a general best practice for medical offices overall. Today, patients have much more relevant data than simply their insurance provider, phone number, and physical address. Incorporating information such as email addresses, preferred method and time of contact, and other data can help ensure that the relationship between the doctor and patient is as efficient and hassle-free as possible. This is beneficial for the office because it increases the likelihood that they will be able to contact the patient about important information in as timely a fashion as possible. It is also beneficial for the patient, as they also appreciate being contacted in the self-selected method that they prefer. At the same time, however, it is imperative that every doctor’s office ensures that they are complying with HIPAA and any other relevant regulations, particularly the ones regarding privacy.
Efficient medical billing is more important than ever before. Fortunately, with some foresight, it is possible to make an office efficient without completely changing the way things are done within it, so that everyone can focus on what is most important: providing best possible patient care!