For many practices, healthcare collection is proving to be a major challenge. Medical claim reimbursements are more difficult to obtain than ever before. The top challenge, according to 83 percent of small practice physicians, is that patients with high-deductible plans are slow to pay. The second most common challenge is practice employees are struggling to communicate payment accountability to patients. If your practice is suffering in this way, here are four ways to tackle the challenges you face.
Learn More About Patient Health Plans
Not every patient health plan is the same. Two patients may present ID cards from the same insurer, but that doesn’t mean their health plans are identical. Plans vary in many ways. They may differ in terms of benefits, rates, and filing requirements. This is why it’s so vital for front-line staff to be familiar with every patient’s individual plan. While this sounds complex, it’s something that’s worth doing to avoid problems. Office staff must stay up to date with the different plans that payers provide. When they are familiar with healthcare providers’ different benefit and coverage mandates, they are well-placed to tackle this challenge.
Understanding the Market
It’s very likely you’ll coordinate with at least three insurance companies every year. Therefore, you should focus on developing a deep knowledge of the industry’s trends and practices. You should identify who your practice’s major payers are. Create a clear record of prevalent providers, unions, and employers working with your medical practice. Familiarity will ensure you can manage the accounts more efficiently.
It’s possible that you’ve provided certain payers with discounts because of the number of patients they’ve endorsed to your practice. However, you need to take care about how those discounts can affect revenue. It’s important to determine whether those discounts are providing sufficient revenue to the practice. If they aren’t, it’s time to look at the data. This will allow you to see the precise amount of revenue that those payers add to the practice. This data gives you more leverage when it comes to negotiating future discounts with those payers.
Of course, it also goes without saying that it is vital to verify each patient’s plan requirements, eligibility, and benefits. Due diligence is essential. Invest in an effective system that enables frontline staff to easily monitor and track payers’ medical claim reimbursements. By doing this, it will be clear which payers make healthcare collection more complex.
Know Current Practice Trends
Every medical practice is different depending on its specialization. Therefore, staying up to date with current practice trends is essential. For example, bundled payments are becoming more common. Some payers are now combining rates into a single payment scheme. This means your frontline billing team needs an awareness of how to handle this.
More patients these days are also demanding better medical fees transparency. This puts your practice under more pressure when quoting fees for medical services. Knowing the billing laws regarding this matter will avoid patient conflicts.
When delays in collecting patient payments are causing problems with cash flow, simplifying the process is key. If your practice isn’t already using an online billing and payment system, it’s time to implement one. An online payment portal or IVR system will make it easier for patients to make their payments on time. A cutting-edge system, such as BillingTree’s healthcare payment solution, will streamline the receipt of patient payments. Patients will be able to pay using their preferred methods and at the time of their choice. As a result, you will save staff time and maximize more cash flow.
Implement these four solutions into your practice’s healthcare collection challenges and streamline your cash flow.