An effective revenue cycle management depends on several factors, and one of its significant components is to maximize and improve patient collections. But what if medical practices overlook this crucial step? For sure, they risk their profits and losses on much-needed revenue. That is why it is always important to keep an eye on the process of billing challenges to keep your revenue cycle intact.
Pandemic and Medical Practice Collection
The covid-19 pandemic has slowed the patient flow in the clinics and healthcare practices, and many medical practices and healthcare facilities are still struggling with reduced patient volume. It also results in decreasing practice revenue. Despite clinics having resumed OPD visits and elective surgeries, there is still a lower volume of patients in hospitals and clinics.
A covid-19 impact study by the commonwealth fund depicted that patient volume dropped by 60% from February to April 2020 at ambulatory practices (the study was conducted by Harvard University researchers and Phreesia, a Greenway Marketplace Partner). The study was expanded later through mid-May; however, the total number of patients was still low by 31% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Although all specialties are facing rebounds in the number of patient visits, one of the studies found that pediatrician practices and surgical specialties faced the most significant decline in patient volume eventually in collection of patient payments.
It is due to the hesitation of patients to visit practices out of Covid-19 fear. And it was also proved by a poll conducted recently, which denoted that 29% of adults delayed their medical care just to stay cautious of COVID-19.
Well, apart from a pandemic, there may be various reasons your practice is getting out of cash flow. It can be due to the lack of staff, overburden of paperwork, or other reasons. If the revenue of your practice is suffering for any reason and you want to boost Medical billing system, read on this blog to improve your patient collections process.
Tips To Improve Medical Collection Process Effectively
Here are some steps crucial to improve practice collections:
1. Collect Complete Contact And Insurance Information Of Patient Before Making An Appointment
When patients call your healthcare facility office to make an appointment, the attending staff should collect all the updated information of the patient, including contact number, email, address, and insurance information. If patients are hesitant to give complete details on a phone call, ask your patients to email the relevant information instead. The patient portal online appointment scheduling software should be able to record all the required information.
Ensuring accurate contact and insurance information will enable your staff to verify insurance coverage, let you follow up with the patient during the treatment, and eventually enhance practice revenue.
2. Authenticate Eligibility For Insurance And Find Out Any Outstanding Balances.
Verify coverage with payers before or when you provide services and clarify payer rules. Following these steps will let you identify any changes in patient collections that may have occurred, determine the percentage of charges covered for the anticipated treatment, and responsibility for payment to the patient.
Doing it may become hectic for you. That is why GreenSense Billing is all here to provide you with better medical billing services to improve your practice and patient collection and grow your revenue.
3. Create And Implement A Proper Payment Policy
A proper payment policy should be created and implemented in which patient responsibility is clearly mentioned. It is the best way for patient balance collection, which requires patients to cover copays at check-in.
Your patients should be aware of this requirement. You have to create a payment policy for the medical office, including an agreement for patient responsibility in your check-in paperwork, and make sure that patients sign it. This payment policy provides your staff and patients with clear guidelines for practice collections.
In addition, send an automated message for appointment reminders to communicate what is due at the time of service.
4. Offer Your Patients Multiple Payment Options
The effective way to increase the practice cash flow is to offer your patients to pay through multiple options at check-in. You can include a variety of payment methods, like cash, cheque, credit/debit card, or online bank transfer. The key is to provide your patients with convenience and facilitate patient payments.
5. Offer Flexible Payment Plans And Keep Tracking It
Establish payment plans for more significant balances and give training to your staff on how to exhibit these flexible payment options. Ask your team to track these plans properly. Offering your patients more flexible payment options will automatically increase your practice collections and give them mental relief by knowing they can pay for their treatments in installments.
6. Constant Follow-Up Should Be The Part Of The Collections Process
Persistence is the key to maximizing your practice collections. Create a preemptive plan to follow up with patients who are not making timely payments. But make sure you are courteous enough. Draft a script and ask your staff to follow it religiously. Your staff can request making total payments, discuss multiple payment options, and offer flexible payment plans if needed.
Almost all practices struggle to manage their revenue cycle due to reduced reimbursements after the pandemic. The days when submitting an insurance claim and payment process merely cost 30 days are long gone. But if you follow these tips we have mentioned above, you will be able to make adequate progress in increasing your practice cash flow. GreenSense Billing is helping various medical practices with their revenue cycle management like no one else. We provide healthcare facilities with incredible medical billing and coding, revenue cycle management, credentialing, practice management, and more through our unparalleled services. Contact us for any queries and let your clinic progress like never before.