Healthcare providers are devoted people who want to help others and provide quality care. Sometimes, the biggest obstacle in the way of doing that is money. Healthcare services have to be billed, and that process is incredibly complicated. It only seems to grow more complicated over time.
If you want your healthcare services to be at their best, you need help dealing with the administration and logistics of billing. One of the best ways to get that help is to outsource medical billing where you can. When you do this, you can increase your administrative and billing resources while simultaneously lowering your overhead. It saves time and money, freeing up your healthcare providers to do what they do best.
In addition to outsourcing billing resources, you can also implement a few health industry best practices for medical billing. Here are four to get you started.
Any clerical errors relating to patient information, provider information or insurance information can lead to major issues with billing and claims. At best it can lead to rejected insurance claims. At worst information issues can negatively impact the quality of care for your patients. Information has to be verified and then verified again, but that eats up valuable time from direct care providers.
You can channel information verification through billing services. Administrative resources can double-check information without taking time and energy away from doctors, nurses or technicians. In fact, you can run this service through your outsourced billing providers. This gives you the additional administrative power that you need for less cost — saving money while improving quality control.
Handling Denied and Rejected Claims
Denied and rejected claims are the bane of every medical billing office. More often than not, claims are denied or rejected because of small errors. Those errors can exist in the form of patient or provider information (mentioned above). They also frequently relate to billing and coding errors.
Regardless of the error, when it kills a claim, you are forced to devote extra resources towards amending and resubmitting this claim. This back-and-forth dance between healthcare providers and insurers wastes time and money on your end.
Verifying information through billing helps to eliminate some of these errors, but it can go further. You can include billing and coding specialists among the billing staff to review every claim before it is submitted. When you reduce the rate of claim denial, the healthcare services are more profitable and efficient, and it ultimately frees up resources for improved patient care.
Managing Accounts Receivable
Accounts receivable is more complicated in health care than any other industry. Payments for a single service often come from multiple services. Insurance companies will have you jumping through hoops day and night. Streamlining accounts receivable is essential.
One tip that can help is to collect money up front when possible. Copays and balances should be explained and collected during the patient-care visit. That cuts out time and energy spent hunting down collections.
When collections resources are necessary, outsourcing is your friend. You cut out administrative costs related to collections. The dedicated billing staff that you contract can stay on top of collections, stabilizing revenue and helping the health office to run better.
Another invaluable resource for any health office is automation software. It provides help in several key areas. For starters, automation will help you catalog and organize patient information. This includes basic things like contact information as well as medical charts and files related to their direct care.
Automation also helps with billing. Automated billing systems can deliver invoices and process payments without taking up precious staff time. When you invest in a good system, you empower your billing personnel to achieve more with less time. This is another tool that helps to stabilize revenue. It also improves the patient experience by eliminating communication errors where they might be surprised with unexpected bills.
It’s not easy to manage medical billing, but there are tools, tips and other resources that can help you succeed. As you’ve seen today, outsourcing some of the work will save you time and money on several levels.
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