The billing department is an important part of a medical practice. Running a successful medical practice requires a sound and efficient revenue system. Billing practices that are not optimized tend have a domino effect, that extends throughout the office. Needless to say that eliminating billing mistakes is critical for a practice to thrive.
Here are the top 5 mistakes that your practice should avoid:
1. Not Having Sufficient Payment Options
When you run your practice, it is important to be flexible by providing patients with multiple payment options. Do not restrict your practice to cash-only, since an overwhelming majority of people are accustomed to using debit or credit card to make payments. Always keep a card machine on the front desk to facilitate the payment methods.
2. Inadequately Trained Staff
Invest in your front-desk staff. Arrange for training about ways to collect payments, look up patient payment history and related services. If possible, hire staff that are acquainted with health insurance policies and medical billing. Always ensure that your staff is up to date with the changing realms of payment and insurance.
3. Erroneous Patient Information
Even minute errors in filing patient information or claiming insurance can have serious consequences. The erroneous patient information might seem trivial, but when these mistakes halt the payment process, they can take as many as 30-45 working days to get resolved. While human errors are unavoidable, it is very important that the front-desk staff do double-check patient information, i.e. patient chart, name, diagnosis and codes before filing the report.
4. Lack of A Practice Management System
To trim down the propensity and frequency of human errors, you should consider implementing a practice management system to automate the billing process. Such systems are particularly beneficial for private and ambulatory practice where the human resources are limited. Trained staff and an automated system will not only be able to keep up with demands, they can serve as the foundation to eliminate the billing hurdles and monitor collection performance.
5. Failure To Verify Insurance
Most of claim denials stem from improper insurance verification. Usually when patients come for routine visits, the assumption is that the insurance plan has not changed. But in practice, insurance information can change at any time. Your practice must implement a verification step at each patient visit to smooth the billing workflow. Patient insurance coverage should be assessed for:
- Eligible and ineligible date of service.
- Service authorization.
- Services not covered by the plan.
- Maximum obtainable benefits.
Setting up a efficient and reliable billing system depends on eliminating these common errors. Happy Billing!