One of the biggest challenges faced by healthcare practices and crucial to their very survival is medical billing and collections. A healthy revenue cycle is important to sustain the process of making patients healthy. Unfortunately, physicians are trained to manage human health rather than revenue health and this is where the challenges arise.
Times are tough – reimbursements are declining and expenses increasing. Keeping your practice viable in this environment requires being able to identify areas in your medical practice which are bleeding money and working out a strategy to stem the bleed. While each practice will require a different strategy to boost its bottom line, here are some tips that all medical practices can follow.
The addition of ancillary services to your existing medical practice can help maximize profitability and serve your patients better. Patients prefer to have the convenience of getting medications at the medical clinic/office and having laboratory or diagnostic services done by the physician’s setup itself, rather than having to go to different places across town. Physicians providing patients with these added services are likely to see an increase in both revenues and patients.
Managing your healthcare revenue cycle is never easy. Revenue leaks can create havoc with your organizations financial viability. The root cause of revenue leaks are generally internal, with someone in the system or the system itself, not performing correctly or efficiently. According to Marc Lion, CEO of Lion & Company CPAs, the average medical practice has a 10 to 15 percent profit leak.
An ongoing challenge for all hospitals, revenue cycle management requires the use of technology to keep track of claims and address issues as and when they arise. It is fairly common for claims to be denied, denial management being an industry wide challenge. Efforts by healthcare facilities have not made much impact in the reduction of claim denials.
The passion to cure people of ailments is what drives a person to become a physician. However, just medically treating people is no longer the only work that a physician needs to do – there are so many other things that demand his attention on a regular basis. Juggling between treating patients and running a practice often brings in many challenges that need to be faced on a daily basis.
Medical practices have been leaking money for some time now – increasing expenses, shrinking insurance reimbursements, and increased compliance parameters means more paperwork than ‘actual’ work. Relying on practice managers to help cut down your expenses could prove tricky if not done right, then there are efficiency and technology challenges that have been plaguing a number of practices.
Revenue Cycle Management is the process of managing your claims processing, payment and revenue generation. This includes everything from determining the patient’s eligibility, collecting their co-pay, coding the claims, tracking the claims, collecting payments and following up on denied claims. A critical part of your office function, it is important that the entire revenue cycle process is managed efficiently.
As we come to the end of another year, it is good to look back and reflect on the highlights of the year – the good, bad and the ugly. Understanding what could have been avoided; done in a better way and what was just perfect, is a great way to build on your new year resolutions.
If you look at your patient’s problem holistically, why would you not do so with your revenue cycle problems too? Similar to the human body, where different organs work in tandem to keep the body healthy; in revenue cycle management different parties come together to keep the cycle healthy. These would include the patient,