Running a successful medical practice, whether small or large, goes far beyond giving patients a high level of care. Like any business, there are administrative, legal, financial, and technological needs that should be addressed. All of these take time and money, which is why we have come up with the following ways to boost your bottom line.
Manage staffing levels:
Create a list of all the tasks that need to be performed, and the frequency they need to be performed. For example, upcoming appointments should be confirmed daily, however billing may be done on a weekly basis. This will help determine required staffing patterns and minimize employee down time. You may also consider partnering with a practice management company that will share the responsibility and free up your time to focus on the big picture rather than the minutia of the day to day activities.
Convert down time to billable time:
Maximize your billings by converting lost time due to cancellations and no-shows. Maybe you can offer additional services to your patients when time allows. You can also try to fill empty appointments with patients scheduled to come in within the next few days.
Establish patient eligibility prior to appointments:
Use payers’ online systems to confirm whether or not a patient’s insurance will cover the service and that you will be paid what you deserve.
Collect copays at the time of service:
Make patient’s aware of their responsibility for any copays or deductibles prior to their visit and collect payment at the time of service.
Develop a clear self-pay policy:
Have a clear policy for patient paying out of pocket. Make sure that the policy is clearly communicated to the patient, which will help the staff enforce the policy. Make patients aware of the charges prior to performing a service and collect as much up front as possible.
Bill accurately and effectively:
Billing insurance companies for claims in a timely manner allows for more accurate billing resulting in fewer denials and faster payment.
Follow-up on outstanding claims and denials:
Review outstanding claims regularly to determine why they haven’t been paid. In some cases the payer may be waiting for additional information and will not pay until it is provided. Inquire as to the reason for denials to find out if decision can be appealed or at the very least to prevent future issues.
Track your performance:
Mahnaz Cavalluzzi, CPA