Each year brings a new set of challenges for billing offices. There is close to no room for error. Pair that with redundant medical reimbursements and rising overhead practice costs. Expenses increase each day. And the billing office needs to be extremely efficient.
Practices are in dire need of high-performance rates. Now, more than ever. The repetition of certain mistakes can be detrimental to a practice. The first step towards improvement is identifying those critical mistakes. Only then can they be worked upon.
This article will span ten of the most common medical billing errors offices make. And how they can be rectified.
Blaming A Fair Share On Insurance Payers:
Numerous problems arise within the billing process. A surge in write-offs. Higher denial rates. And falling reimbursements. This leads to pointing the finger at all your insurance payers.
Often, communication between a provider and payer can be jaded. But, this is where the problem lies. Insurance payers can not be treated as scapegoats. Payers do come with a set of problems. It can sometimes even lead to lower payments. But they are not at fault each time.
Healthy billing offices will value internal performance. And will work on improving that before they deal with a third party. Once internals sounds good, externalities too can be targeted.
A Lack Of Consistency In Performance:
An office administrator will perceive their practice to be the best. Sometimes, people can get lazy. And slack off on routine checks about office operations. Closely monitoring performance is critical. It speaks volumes about your practice.
Top-tier medical billing offices will prioritize performance indicators. And continually keep track of employee productivity. There is numerous room for improvement here.
Practices can employ the use of a dashboard. To review outputs such as outstanding receivables. Cash. Adjusted collection rate. Among many others. A framework can be put in place pertaining to how these indicators can be measured.
There should be a transparent flow of information amongst stakeholders. This increases efficiency.
Are You Hiring The Right People?
Billing courses are becoming increasingly accessible. So many people are now walking in with those credentials. It would appear that almost everyone claims to be trained.
Hiring the wrong person is a lot easier than hiring the right person. Some of these courses may be good. But some are also very bad. People stretch their qualifications on a resume.
A successful billing office can take certain steps. To ensure this does not happen. Essentially, verifying appropriate credentials, not simply relegating decision making to an interview, but also checking references and testing the candidate before employment.
Lack Of Emphasis On Internal Controls:
Medical practices can be a breeding ground for fraud and embezzlement. Billing offices can be easily exploited. Especially by staff members handling large amounts of transactions. Single-handedly. Without consistent supervision.
To rectify this, Introduce internal controls, separate duties, and enforce tight rules. Do not shy off from becoming strict. It is your hard work, after all. Ensure oversight on accounting. As well as monitoring payment posting processes.
One Hand In Too Many Pots:
Essentially, profitable practice is multi-faceted. To achieve financial success, it is imperative to be self-aware. You can not do everything yourself. Assuming too many responsibilities is harmful. It draws attention away from your specialty.
Revenue cycle activities are not limited. A successful billing office should ascertain contracts on equal grounds with insurance payers. Credentialing is timely. All departments work in harmony, from pre-service clearance to a significant charge capture process.
Identify all the functions linked with your revenue cycle management. And consider outsourcing as a viable option.
Not Utilizing A Practice Management System To Full Potential:
You might have invested in a wonderful practice management system. But you are not milking it to full potential.
The system can not print a report. Or make adjustments tailored to you. But you need to stop expecting too much of it. Someone using the system without the required skill set is a red flag.
The performance of this system depends on the user. The vendor’s knowledge. And gradually building up skills with the system. A right medical billing office will not hesitate to reach out to other users. And learn from them.
Not Using Automation Properly:
Electronic health records are a new phase. But there are numerous other applications of technology within the billing office. Automation is vital to profitability. An increasing volume of transactions requires automation. Work smart.
Achieve more, with fewer people. Use fewer resources. Employ a technology that can perform code scrubbing. Can use charge capture software for entry. And so much more!
Insurance payers can deny payment for services. Sometimes, it can be an entire claim. A lazy biller will write these off. This is how they cover the tracks. They adjust the money to a code that is linked to the payer. And call these contractual adjustments.
A successful billing office will work denials. Special codes will be used to monitor write-offs.
Stifling Productivity Through Batching:
Even the most modern practice would have bits of paper lying around. This entails spending more time on organization. Employees will spend more time organizing files, documents, and highlighting reports. You’d be surprised at the time this eats up.
Automation to assist workflow is pivotal. It can change the outlook of your practice. And enhance employee productivity by allowing them to focus on what’s important.
Not Prioritizing Right:
The workload in a billing office can be massive. You need to balance multiple responsibilities. Like payment posting. Claim denial management, etc.
In this mess, the billing office needs to be able to prioritize. To know what to do first and what to save for last.
It’s completely okay to make mistakes! As long as you realize where you went wrong and take measures to fix them. Walking out of 2020, let’s aim higher. And make more room for improvement. But we do have one last piece of advice.
If, for example, you are a practice. In New Jersey. It would be good to sift through some of the medical billing companies in Houston TX. Outsourcing is an incredible option available to medical practices. Check out the medical billing service in Houston, Texas. And decide what’s best for your practice. This runs true for wherever you are!
Visit Billing Freedom for more information on how we can assist your practice.