05 May Medical Billing Update: 20 Things that could affect your Collections
For many health professionals and clinical-based companies, medical billing is one of the most important aspects. While patient care is a healthcare provider’s main concern, medical billing is an essential part to keeping a practice running smoothly. It is also important in making a profit that can enable a healthcare facility to maintain their practice profitable. Here are 20 things that could be affecting your medical billing collections and keeping your practice from receiving what it has earned.
1. Inaccurate or Improperly Coded Claims
When a biller uses the wrong code or the claim is submitted with inaccurate information, the claim will be usually be denied. Frequent claim denials mean there will be a delay in the profit collection for providers.
2. Untrained Employees
Having employees handle billing claims who are unfamiliar with the updated coding system contribute to collection problems. Make sure your billing professionals are adequately trained to eliminate mistakes and the delay of claim payments.
3. No System for Denied Claims
At times, a claim will be denied. The healthcare facility billing employ will need to reevaluate it and resubmit it. If there is no clear system on how denied claims will be processed, they can be forgotten, and this could contribute to lost earnings.
4. No Online Electronic Payment Tool
Having an online electronic payment tool will make it easier for your healthcare facility to accept payments from patients. This will also make it easier for patients to pay by themselves, and will contribute to more profit for the company.
5. Lack of Co-Pay Collection System
Every medical practice and healthcare center should have a system in place for patients to make co-pays at the time of their visit. Allowing a patient to extend his or her co-pay deadline can mean more hassle for your payment collections. Establishing a rigid system concerning collection of co-pays at the time of service will help eliminate any worries or hassle.
6. Need for Credit Card System Backup and Virtual Processing
Having a credit card processing system that breaks down easily is a bad idea. Having the ability to process credit card payments online virtually is great, especially if the practice has several locations.
7. Faulty Collections Process
Many practices and medical companies have no system in place that reminds patients of their remaining balance. Having a collections system that updates patient payments and reminds them of the payment schedule can help to make sure payments are received on time.
8. No Guide on Payment Procedure
Make sure to have a guide related to the payment procedure for collections in your office. Make sure it is detailed and clearly states when payments are expected. After a certain number of attempts at contacting the patient, and attempting to receive payment, the patient will be sent to medical collections.
9. Not Keeping Accurate Records
Make sure your healthcare facility keeps accurate documentation on how many billing statements a patient has received, and what the up-to-date balance is for each account. This will allows for less concern and will result in faster rate of payment.
10. Vague Billing Statements
Make sure that billing statements sent out to patients are clear and concise. Also, ensure that it is clearly stated how much the patient’s balance is and when the next payment is due to be received. Vague billing statements contribute to loss of profit.
11. Not listing a Customer Service Number
Patients can often be confused on their payment schedule or what exactly the billing means. Having a customer service number that is plainly printed on billing statements, and on a website, allows the patient to have greater access to the help needed.
12. No Information regarding Payment Plans
Often times, patients cannot pay 100% of their balance at once. Explaining how the payment plan works can ensure that payments will be made in a specified amount of time. The medical billing manager must make sure each patient is set up on a payment plan.
13. Frequent Billing Errors
Frequent billing errors contribute to lost revenue. To prevent this, have your medical billing company trained in how to prevent billing errors. The billing manager should be specifically trained in this area.
14. Lack of Monthly Billing Meetings
Lack of communication between the practice manager and the medical billers can mean loss of profits for the healthcare facility. The healthcare facility needs to have a monthly meeting to discuss how to increase collection rates and decrease mistakes. The monthly billing meeting can help to increase a facility’s collections profit, as well as help to avoid past mistakes in the future.
15. Submitting Claims to the Wrong Insurance Company
If the medical billers do not send the claim to the right place, payment will be delayed. Make sure all claims that are submitted are going to the correct corresponding party. Do this by simply verifying the information before sending it.
16. Lack of Planning
Many times, a healthcare facility will expand without keeping up with their increasing medical billing. This can cause payment collections to fall. It may be in their best interest to outsource the medical billing, to ensure that all payment and collection matters are receiving the right amount of detail necessary to meet the practice’s demands.
17. Outdated Software System
An outdated software system can become slow, decrease productivity, and affect the amount of billing that can be accomplished each day. By updating to a newer software system, this could lead to a greater increase in payment collections.
18. No Communication System
Have a communication system between the billing office and different offices in the healthcare facility. Also, communicate between an outside medical billing company and your facility. This can really change the way your facility views billing. Communication on small and large issues can help increase productivity and decrease errors.
19. No Automated Insurance Verification System
An automated verification system allows the patient know right away if he or she will be covered by insurance. Also, this will let the patient know how much the total payment will be, and if a co-pay is required. Insurance verification will eliminate any confusion concerning payments.
20. Lack of a Billing Manager
All healthcare facilities and practices need someone who is up-to-date on all medical billing policies, claims systems, and collections processes of the office. The billing manager is effective in ensuring that your facility is receiving necessary payments. This person should be in the know about all things related to medical billing.