Many medical practices are finding themselves trying to recover financially after the devastating losses that came in 2020 and early 2021 with the COVID-19 pandemic. Practices faced significant volume and revenue losses while protecting their patients from the virus that killed thousands of people. The financial and clinical challenges were tough enough that some practices were left closing their doors.
As the world moves on post-pandemic, revenues and volumes are beginning to go back to normal. However, trends like rising healthcare costs and healthcare consumerism have been accelerated by the pandemic, putting pressure on practices to improve their revenue cycle.
Here’s a closer look at the top three tips that a medical practice can follow to optimize the medical billing cycle and improve its collection.
Tip #1 – Automate Your Workflow
In a post-pandemic world, practices – and their revenue cycle – are ready for automation. You may have team members doing highly repetitive tasks as a part of revenue cycle management, such as follow-ups on claim status, creating a patient statement, or verifying eligibility. Various technology can easily be used to take these tasks and automate them, freeing up members of your team to focus on more complex and value-adding tasks.
According to one revenue cycle director, when you have thousands of claims in your practice management system, the process of determining which ones need more attention can be very manual. The addition of software can help organize claims to maximize the efficiency of your staff while ensuring claims that need more attention get handled quickly.
Another practice noted that they had a system that had automated patient financial clearance before the pandemic hit. However, post-pandemic, the tool made a difference. Automating this process allowed the practice to clear patients even days before their appointment, reduced the need for contact, and eliminated the need for in-person check-ins.
Tip #2 – Optimize Your Front-End Processes
When you take the time to optimize your revenue cycle processes on the front end, it can reduce problems on the back end. When patients come to your practice for a visit, the front end is the first interaction patients have. This is an essential point for making your patient experience exceptional. According to one director of patient access, how you handle the front-end processes can impact the rest of the visit.
For your practice, the ability to make sure your front end is verifying the correct patient demographics, entering insurance correctly, and collecting the financial responsibility of the patient upfront will reduce rework for the rest of the revenue cycle. Overall, it helps reduce potential claims denials, too.
Many practices continue to rely on manual patient access workflows. However, more patients have become computer savvy with technological advances and personal smartphones. This allows practices to use features like bi-directional and automated communications to help streamline this process.
Workflows like patient registration can also be streamlined. Contactless registration using digital patient intake offers improved efficiency and safety for patients and practices. Patients can easily take a photo of their ID, insurance card, verify demographics, and digitally sign consents at their convenience.
Tip #3 – Start a Good Partnership
The reality is that many practices struggle with revenue cycle management, which makes optimizing your RCM can become a daunting task, especially if you have a small medical practice. You may not have the technology, people, or capital to jump into an end-to-end revenue cycle management optimization project. In many cases, this is where it can be beneficial to start a good partnership. Outsourcing revenue cycle management has become a standard solution that helps practices tackle revenue cycle challenges, such as lack of technology, inefficient workflows, or slow reimbursement.
For a successful partnership, look for companies that have knowledge in your specialty and the systems you’re already using. What you want is a specialist and advocate who can work with you to boost revenue and handle processes that tax your current work staff, so you’re able to focus on what you do best – keeping patients healthy.
At M-Scribe.com, we’re here to help you with your medical billing and coding needs, as well as payer contract review, provider credentialing, account receivable services, and so much more. We’ll work with you to help your practice make more money. Contact us today to find out more about how we can give your revenue cycle a boost.