Do you know what it takes to improve account management at your otolaryngology practice or clinic to help increase payment collections and streamline your office? From insurance verification to establishing patient financial policies, clinical coding optimization to basic management skills for your medical billing system, there are a lot of things you can do right now to make improvements that will make a difference. It might seem like an overwhelming task, but the benefits outweigh the work that will need to be done.
A Changing Industry
One of the biggest reasons why so many practices and clinics are looking to improve their medical billing system and boost collections, is the changing landscape of the healthcare industry. The Affordable Care Act brought with it greater patient deductibles, more health plans that include high-deductible options, increased co-pays and other changes that made patient collectibles as much as 30 percent of your office’s overall collections. It isn’t just confusing and difficult for ENT account management and billing departments, but it can also be frustrating for patients as well. The more that you can do to improve account management behind the scenes, the better the experience will be for everyone involved.
When is the last time that you took a good look at your office’s clinical coding optimization, insurance verification, and billing solutions? It is important to know how your billing department is handling payments from patients with regard to the revenue cycle. 30 percent adds up quickly, so if your team isn’t properly coding, billing and collecting from patients directly, chances are good that you are losing a lot of money. This income is necessary for the continued success of your practice, and should be taken very seriously.
Step One: Establish Clear Patient Policies
If you have not already done so, examine your patient financial policies to ensure that the expectations and requirements for your ENT account management are clear. Your policy should describe what you expect from patients with regard to paying for medical services, such as co-pays at the time of service and deductibles in a timely manner. Make sure that it is clear that the medical billing system will be checked prior to new appointments and that any outstanding bills for services must be paid before a new appointment can be made.
Patients need to know that if they are unable to make their co-pay at the time of the visit, that it will need to be rescheduled. Medical insurance cards are required to be presented at the onset of each appointment and are subject to insurance verification. Any additional costs for collecting outstanding balances, such as collection agency fees, late fees and other services, will be included in the updated bill, so make sure that information is clear and easy to understand.
Step Two: Offer Patient Incentives
There are things that you can do to provide an incentive for your patients to pay you in a timely manner. It’s a definite win-win for everyone involved. By offering easy pay options to your patients that will let them pay online, via mobile phone, using credit card, debit card or other methods of payments, you can collect more money upfront at the time of the visit. You can also offer discounts to patients who pay a certain amount of billed charges upfront, say between 25 and 50 percent.
Step Three: Staff Training & Support
Your team needs to be on top of everything that you are doing to provide quality ENT account management. Everyone from reception staff to billing department personnel, need to all be working on the same “page” to collect co-pays, ensure that the balance due is paid, and that customer service is at its very best. While staff needs to be firm in requiring payments to be collected, they also need to have training to know how to best work with patients to ensure that quality service is maintained. Continued training and support can help your staff to stay on top of everything from initial insurance verification on to clinical coding optimization and billing to help improve account management.
Step Four: Professional Statements
Because the healthcare industry is so confusing to so many patients – and providers – it is more important than ever to ensure that you are sending out professional billing statements that are easy to read and understand. Send an initial statement following the patient visit and then send a second statement 30-days later, if the invoice has not been paid. Take a look at your statements and review them to see if they can be refined and improved. Statements are a very important part of your overall medical billing system for an ENT practice or clinic, as they will help you to increase your revenue. Consider consulting with experienced ENT account management consultants, such as MD Pro Solutions, to make marked improvements across the board.
Step Five: Account Tracking
The only way to stay on top of payments is to employ a comprehensive tracking system. This will help you track all collections, such as co-pays, deductibles, past due amounts and even more, for every single payment on the schedule. This will help you to collect more during visits, ensure that payments are being made in a timely manner, and improve account management overall. Daily reports can reveal the payments received for the day’s visits, weekly reports can be used to update all payments received and payments still outstanding.
Contact MD Pro Solutions to Improve Account Management
If you are looking for new ways to boost your ENT account management abilities, train staff on insurance verification or improve clinical coding optimization in your billing department, contact MD Pro Solutions. We provide professional training, resources, support and even outsourced services, to help you get your medical billing system on track. Give us a call at 508-946-1665 to learn more about the services that we provide or to schedule a FREE initial evaluation.