There are two key factors that need to be observed in order to make your medical billing process more efficient. First, you need to increase the number of patients who pay their bills, and who preferably pay them on time. And second, you need to trim down the fat on the billing system itself, so that it isn’t being slowed down or held back by any unnecessary factor.
Of course, all that needs to be achieved while following the two golden rules of business: keep your customers happy, and don’t make your employees more miserable than necessary. Luckily for everyone involved, boosting billing efficiency can actually make your patients happier and make the lives of your staff easier. Here are a few things you can do in order to achieve more efficiency within the described parameters.
Make your terms clear
Paying their medical bills should not be frustrating or confusing for your patients. The forms and terms of payment should be made crystal clear in one way or another, and the same goes for any fees and penalties that your patient may incur.
Making these things clear may involve having to overall the payment terms in order to make them easier to explain and understand, as no one likes having to navigate a pile of asterisks. Making payment rules and options visible in your business signage can also boost clarity.
Invest in an upfront collection
There are a large number of problems that get resolved if your patient pays for everything upfront. And even if the patient isn’t willing to pay before they receive their medical service, being given the option will both remind them of their financial responsibility and give your staff a chance to make the terms clear. You can further boost the number of upfront collections by offering discounts to patients who choose this option.
Assess staff productivity
What is the main time sink for your billing staff right now? Knowing how your billing staff spends their time is key to optimizing the process. There are many ways to attain that information, from surveys to installing time managing software on the staff’s computers for a couple of weeks to get a sense of their productivity baseline. Armed with the knowledge of what the biggest time sinks are, you can work to optimize them. Some of the wastes of time can’t be avoided, but others can be solved with training and the use of better software solutions.
Make full use of software tools
Most medical institutions use medical billing software to help their efforts. But how well is your staff using those software solutions? If they haven’t been properly trained in their usage, there are likely time-saving tools going unused. Users committing errors when dealing with complicated billing software can also waste a lot of time.
Outsource difficult collections
Part of the streamlining process is always going to be figuring out when it is better to just outsource the collection task. Providers of RCM services can take over the job of collecting on a difficult debtor, and a good provider can even do it with minimal damage to your relationship with the patient.
There are, after all, many reasons why a patient isn’t paying their bills. They might have lost their jobs and be living off their income insurance, which is something you can learn more about by visiting this link. Instead of letting your billing department deal with that complexity, it may be more efficient to let outside experts handle it.