In the healthcare industry, nothing is more important than a well-managed revenue cycle to insure patients are keeping up with their bills and doctors are getting the money they work hard to earn. The following article provides five easy steps to creating a more efficient revenue cycle for healthcare providers and medical collections agencies.
1. Cross-train all staff members: It is important to make sure everyone in the office know how to post payments, schedule payments, perform follow-up consultations and work the front desk. Every business staff members should be trained to perform revenue cycle management and duties outside their main job description. Ideally, each staff member should spend some office hours every month performing another job function, to make sure they maintain their skills in other areas.
2. Technology makes life easier: Medical experts are frequently hesitant to add information technology to their offices because of costs, time constraints and employee push-back, but choosing the right technology can significantly improve business office functions if implemented correctly.
For instance, a quality desktop scanner can reduce paper use, save money and better organize the billing and collections process. Modern billing software is also available to health professionals and can greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of business operations. Then there’s the dual monitor option. Purchasing two computer monitors per staff member, may seem like a luxury, but screen cost about $100 these days and the efficiency they provide makes up for the small expenditure in little time.
3. Communication is the key and so are regular staff meetings: Some of the best suggestions for improving a business office can be born out of meetings and everyday exchanges between come staff members. With this in mind, company managers should meet regularly with business office staff and ask for suggestions on improvements. ”
4. Arrange for payment from patients before appointment: Patients should be contact prior to their visit to review their insurance coverage, benefits and payment options.
Before calling the patient, the front desk coordinator should determine how much the patient owes the facility, so the center can present a clear, understandable financial responsibility with an explanation according to the patient’s insurance. This can be made easier by giving callers the proper patient account management training so they can manage various problems that may arise when talking to negligent clients.
5. Monitor Performance and lay out expectations in advance: A good boss makes sure their staff members understand the main goals of their monthly performance. Once you’ve established your expectations, perform weekly and monthly audits of staff members.
For a collector, the supervisor should go through the accounts and make sure the collector is completing their task thoroughly and not simply making cold calls to answering machines.
Industry experts also recommend setting collection goals for the office team every month. Collection goals can be calculated by taking the average of the last three months’ net revenue, minus two percent for bad debt. Once the system is up and running, the team should receive tangible awards for meeting collection goals, such as a chocolate cake Fridays or gift cards.