Your practice needs revenue to be able to care for your patients. Better medical billing processes can increase your revenue without sacrificing patient care. Here are nine proactive medical billing tips to help boost your revenue cycle.
Medical Billing Tips to Improve Patient Revenue
Many practices struggle with bad debt from patients unable or unwilling to pay medical bills. These four tips can help you maximize patient revenue without harming doctor-patient relationships.
Tip 1: Help patients estimate their costs
Many practice management systems include patient-facing portals that allow patients to schedule appointments, view referrals, and ask follow-up questions. NextGen's redesigned Patient Portal, the PXP Portal, also has tools to help patients estimate costs. Using the PXP Portal, patients can calculate copays and coinsurance for office visits, so they know what to expect when they arrive. This reduces confusion and increases the likelihood that your patients will be able to pay their bills on time.
Tip 2: Collect copays and coinsurance before appointments
Mailing bills for copayments and coinsurance to patients after their visit risks underpayment. Patients may miss the bills, have an inaccurate address on file, or forget to pay. Your practice can mitigate these risks by collecting estimated copayments and coinsurance during appointment check-in. Upfront payment reduces the hassle for patients, increases your likelihood of collecting copayments and coinsurance, and reduces your spending on mailings and follow-ups.
Tip 3: Always double-check insurance information
Many patients change insurance due to job changes or other life circumstances. Billing the wrong insurance company for a patient wastes your time and theirs. Your practice should develop check-in processes that ensure insurance and personal information is accurate and up-to-date before every appointment. Using tools like NextGen's PXP Portal, you can even ask patients to check their information before they arrive in your office. You can also connect kiosks or laptops directly to your practice management system to reduce data entry errors and ensure updates are processed seamlessly.
Tip 4: Make it easy for patients to pay
Patients are more likely to pay their medical bills if they have access to convenient payment options. The NextGen PXP Portal offers online payment to help patients easily find and pay their bills. You can also offer payment plans if your practice struggles to collect payments from patients with large medical bills. Letting patients pay over time can generate more revenue for your practice than selling debts to collection agencies. Plus, payment plans protect your patients from aggressive debt-collection practices.
Medical Billing Tips to Maximize Insurance Payments
Most of your practice's revenue comes from private insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid. Here are three tips to improve claims billing and payment.
Tip 5: Hire the right team
Your practice needs an experienced medical billing team to maximize revenue from payers. Medical billing specialists should be experts in your practice management system and medical coding practices. They also need strong communication skills to work through coding and billing issues.
Tip 6: Review your denials
All practice face denied claims. But you can make your practice more effective by learning from denials so that they don't become a pattern. Tools like TempDev's Revenue Cycle Dashboard NextGen EPM Report show you all of your denied claims, by reason for the denial, in one place. This Dashboard can help you identify patterns and adjust your coding and billing processes to address repeated errors.
Tip 7: Train providers and staff to code during office visits
Accurate medical billing starts with your providers. EHR training and workflow redesign can help you incorporate coding into office visits. Providers can then select appropriate diagnosis and procedure codes while they are fresh in their minds, reducing recall errors and mistranslation of handwritten notes. Also, EHR training reduces the likelihood of physician burnout.
Medical Billing Tips to Make Your Revenue Cycle More Efficient
Your revenue cycle isn't just about maximizing payments. Your practice should also aim to minimize collection costs and get paid faster.
Tip 8: Automate where possible
Many practice management systems let you automate simple tasks. For example, NextGen's Background Business Processor (BBB) can automatically batch and submit claims to your clearinghouse overnight so that you don't overload your system during business hours. You can also automatically check claims against your claims library and flag any errors for further investigation.
Tip 9: Outsource or co-source
Small and mid-sized practices may not have the claims volume to justify a dedicated medical billing team. For these practices, outsourcing or co-sourcing can help you improve billing efficiency. With outsourcing, your practice contracts with a revenue cycle management company to complete your billing tasks. These companies can generally reduce claims denials and improve collection rates over what practices can achieve on their own. With co-sourcing, your billing staff works directly with third-party billers to complete tasks. Co-sourcing gives your practice more control over billing processes while maintaining the higher collection rates of outsourcing.
How TempDev Can Help with Medical Billing
TempDev's NextGen experts can help you configure your system to maximize revenue. TempDev also offers training, workflow redesign, and medical billing staffing solutions to fit your needs.
Call us at 888.TEMP.DEV or contact us here for help with medical billing.
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