03 Jun Is your Medical Practice Losing Money?
The general population typically makes assumptions about doctors, and one of those include speculation about their enormous salaries. When student loans, malpractice insurance, payroll, and a variety of other overhead costs are factored in the salary quickly begins to diminish. Even if money were no object for an entrepreneur, no one would ever want to purposefully become part of a failing or unprofitable business.
Sometimes business losses are expected and cannot be controlled. Other times, business losses are unexpected but still cannot be controlled. The role of any business owner, and that includes medical practitioners, is to minimize losses and maximize profits.
This general economic principle creates some strife with the psyche of practicing physicians, because it somehow feels wrong to consider providing a lifesaving medical treatment a routine business transaction. There is some separation between the two but they are ultimately related. This psychological impact is just one of the triggers that a medical practice could be forfeiting profits, but there are plenty of others.
Inexperienced Medical Professionals
With any new position, a certain training period, or learning curve, is expected. This is quite normal, and should be factored into the general cost of the position and production expectations. Whenever possible, a medical services provider should have experienced staff members overseeing the daily operations. This is vital for ensuring compliance and not creating unnecessary room for business losses.
The time it takes to train new employees on various software packages, billing systems, and other technical equipment or medical machinery is a realized cost for the business. If an organization has a high employee turnover rate, the estimated training budget is constantly being overdrawn. This phenomenon is not limited to administrative staff, but instead, it also applies to the even greater cost of training medical personnel on the particulars of a medical practice.
This is just one reason it may make sense to outsource the practice billing to a top medical billing firm such as MPMR who has Certified Coders and Specialists to ensure a steady, maximized reimbursement stream.
Misfiled Claims and Billing Errors
By far the greatest loss aside from malpractice claims, for any medical service provider or practice is related to simple billing errors. These small issues are typically inadvertent keystroke errors, which result in unpaid invoices from insurance companies or patients. Whether it was a mistake or not does not change the fact that payment was not made. There are a few ways a medical practice can avoid losing money from misfiled claims.
Medical coding is a specific trade that can be learned and practiced but must also be refined periodically, as changes are made by governmental or insurance agencies. All medical billing and their backup administrative staff need to undergo regular training sessions to review new policies and procedures that will change common practices.
MPMR is one of the best medical billing companies for several reasons, one of which is the premier technology used in claim submission. The first pass acceptance rate is huge, and when not accepted the first time claims are quickly revised to resubmit asap. To minimize misfillings and errors, billing should be left up to medical billing specialists such as MPMR.
Undervalued Professional Services
A conundrum for many medical professionals and mental health workers in the practice of providing patient services is an understanding of the fair market value for their services. While these healthcare professionals are highly educated and are also probably well respected in their communities, they often have a difficult time equating their skills and talents into an hourly rate or a flat price per visit. This resistance stems from feelings of guilt about charging money to provide help or support to those in need.
Consider that most healthcare providers are quite compassionate individuals who decided to pursue their careers for the sole purpose of helping others. To then charge people for their services seems a bit too brash for some providers.
It helps to have a business manager or other administrative officer take over this end of the business. They will conduct research studies and compare the rates of other providers in the region who offer similar services. The executive officer will then balance those figures against the overhead costs of the medical practice and the overall patient load to calculate a reasonable fee per service.