Any medical practice that is serious about its improving their profitability starts with its data stream first. Practices lose out on millions of dollars every year because of avoidable medical billing errors. Switching over to an automated system for data input, re-evaluating office regulations to be in compliance with the latest standards, and double checking all outgoing documentation is a good start. However, more due diligence costs money and time. It is better to hit the problem at its source – during employee training.
Here are some best practices to consider when training to reduce medical billing errors in your practice.
Proper Insurance Verification
Your staff must learn to verify insurance for every incoming patient. Although this can be an uncomfortable practice, it is a necessary step to help reduce denial of service claims, wasting time on resubmitted claims, and missing out on copay balances in some cases. Verifying insurance first helps the medical practice to estimate the out of pocket cost that the patient will be responsible for. It helps to guarantee your income and protect the patient from huge, unexpected costs.
Standardizing Check In
Your front office staff must understand how to communicate your office policies to patients in a respectful but firm manner. Make sure that every patient knows his or her copay responsibilities. You must also prioritize communication with insurance companies. Your front desk is more than a greeting service – it is the first line of collections for your medical practice.
Medical Coding Knowledge
Many offices are going to automated systems to ensure that every code is properly entered from the beginning. If you do not go this route, you must create a system that ensures the lowest level of human error possible here. Insurance companies are known to take advantage of any and all errors to avoid or delay payments. Make sure that your staff knows the new ICD-10 coding system as well. Proper coding will drastically shorten the time that you have between filing your claims and actually getting paid.
Sometimes the best way to ensure good filings is to combine your human and software resources. Double checking is fine, but electronic filing will streamline the entire process. Use claim scrubbing software for best results, and make sure that your staff is trained in the use of the software. Insurance companies also have a history of paying out electronic claims more quickly than claims that are processed manually. Overall, going as electronic as you can will save you money and time.
Managing Your Revenue Cycle Management
The revenue cycle of your office goes back to the creating of a comprehensive policy structure and training your office staff in best practices. Managing your entire cycle will include detailed instructions for your staff on how to generate an invoice, the medical billing frequency that should be expected, and how to properly monitor outstanding denials and claims from insurance companies.
Call the medical billing experts today at 770-666-0470 or email us at email@example.com for a free review of how to minimize medical billing errors for your practice.
Follow Up with Patients and Payers
Sometimes the best technique is the simplest. Following up after lost monies is one of the best ways to ensure that you get paid. Train your employees how to properly time follow up communications. There should be an electronic CRM system in place to keep employees from bothering innocent patients or patients who have already paid. Keeping a standard schedule when contacting insurance companies is a great idea as well. They will appreciate the professionalism and may prioritize your claims in the future.
Although every medical practice will address training differently, the general tips offered above may serve as a guideline to lead the business in the right direction. As data is gathered, methodology can become more precise. The bottom line – dedicate your practice to proper training when it comes to billing, and you will definitely reap the rewards.