Keeping on top of your health center’s medical billing procedures is essential for maintaining and growing its revenue stream. Today, integrating technology is key to revamping the medical billing of any health care practice, along with making patient communication as clear and concise as possible.
In addition to improving efficiency and the work environment in general, employing techniques to improve your health center billing processes can equal a significant increase in revenue. Here are five ways to improve your health center billing practices.
1. Electronically organize patient health records
It’s true that keeping hard copies of medical records is a good practice, and even a legal requirement in many cases, but this method of organization should primarily be used for storage. For the day-to-day use of patient records, electronic organization is not only more efficient, it is the best way to keep patient health records secure.
Rather than sending files from practitioner to practitioner, or moving this information around internally for review when processing claims, having patient information available at the click of a button will lighten your health center billing work load. Electronic organization also allows for patient records to be updated almost instantly, which helps make billing and patient care more efficient. When investing in health center billing services, these solutions are typically a part of the program.
2. Use high quality medical billing software
Note that the suggestion isn’t to simply use medical billing software, but to make sure that it is of high quality. With all of the ever-changing billing codes for various insurance plans, Medicaid, and Medicare, choosing billing software that includes frequent automatic updates can be a great convenience. The more up to date your software is with the latest medical billing rules, the less likely it is that your health center’s claims will be denied.
3. Clearly communicate with patients
When patients know what is expected of them in terms of payment, as well as what billing options your health center offers, they will be more apt to not only take care of their medical bills, but to do so promptly. It’s best to not only provide billing and payment information in patient contracts and paper handouts, but to also post it in patient waiting and check-in areas, your reception desk, and you can even post this information inside exam rooms. Use layman’s terms, avoid technical jargon, and aim to make your health center’s billing and payment terms as visible and understandable as possible.
4. Make use of data mining
Pulling accurate reports improves the level of service that your health center provides, and it can also be invaluable when it comes to decision making. If you choose good medical billing software program, it will likely come with the ability to create custom reports manually or automatically. These reports can then be analyzed to check for payment and billing errors — reducing billing errors is an important part of increasing your health center’s revenue and percentage of approved claims.
5. Aim to get billing right the first time
Each error or piece of missed information makes it more likely that claims will be denied, which is a sure way to see your health center’s profits and efficacy tumble. Careful attention to detail on the part of staff is one part of the equation, but an efficient electronic patient records system and high quality billing software can help ensure that manual and technical errors don’t go unnoticed before a claim is initially submitted.