No matter what specialties their physicians may have, healthcare practices must focus on collecting payments to remain profitable. Here are seven ways that practices can more accurately track patient collections.
1. Educate Personnel
Personnel plays a significant role in the collection process. Delegating collection responsibilities to different staff members can improve a practice’s collection performance.
2. Incorporate Technology
Using technology to submit 837s and electronically receive 835s not only helps manage collections, but it also eliminates the time it takes personnel to process paper claims.
3. Use a Clearinghouse
A practice’s clearinghouse serves as a liaison between the practice and insurance payers. Clearinghouses contain many features that assist in maximizing collections, such as assisting personnel in verifying patient insurance eligibility to increase in clean claims.
4. Monitor Claim Rejections
Clearinghouses will reject ineligible claims before sending them to the insurance payer. Monitoring rejections allows the practice to correct the claim before the insurance payer can deny the claim.
5. Track Denials
Billing personnel need to know why insurance providers deny particular claims and whether there is a trend for the types of rejected claims. After determining any patterns, the practice can identify methods for reducing denial rates.
6. Manage Accounts Receivable for Insurance and Patient-Responsible Accounts
Sending invoices for services and filing claims with insurance carriers is not the end of the process. Practices should run one report to reflect the practice’s insurance accounts receivable and another report for patient-responsible accounts receivable. Why? Recently, the collections process has shifted toward collecting money directly from patients rather than insurance payers. Therefore, patient accounts receivable must be managed to ensure the practice’s profitability.
7. Establish Metrics for Measuring Productivity
Practices should develop productivity metrics. Some of these may include coding measures, charge entry measures, and claim follow-up time. These areas can be evaluated to determine the practice’s productivity. Practices should also develop metrics for a practice scorecard that provides an accurate overall practice snapshot.
CRI’s Medical Practice CPAs Can Help You Unlock Your Practice Cash Flow
CRI’s healthcare CPAs can design a collections process for your practice that maximizes cash flow. From developing metrics for evaluating the latest technology for your practice, we’re here to help you improve efficiencies. Our doors are always unlocked!