According to surveys, many obstetricians and gynecologists decide to do their job because they want to care for women through their lives. Many find that it’s rewarding, and they enjoy the relational, intellectual, and practical aspects the job presents. However, challenges like coordinating with insurance companies, dealing with complex EMRs, an increase in administrative work are all major stressors. And then, there’s the challenge of trying to keep an practice profitable. If your profits have been taking a hit, here’s a look at some practical strategies you can use to increase revenue for your OB-GYN practice.
Strategy #1 – Discover Where You’re Leaking Revenue
If you want to increase your practice’s revenue, the first thing you need to do is to discover where you’re leaking revenue. Are patients unhappy with the service and leaving for other providers? If so, why are patients unhappy? Are there performance challenges in your billing cycle, workflow, and payment information areas of your practice? Are coding mistakes resulting in claim denials that are costing you big time? Is your current EMR system inefficient and taking up too much time?
Strategy #2 – Get on Top of Payer’s Timely Filing Deadlines
Do you want to improve practice revenue for your OB-GYN practice? Get on top of the payer’s timely filing deadlines. Late claim submissions are unacceptable, and they’re a big reason for denials. And those denials are costing your practice money. For example, Medicaid has a timely filing deadline of 95 days from the patient’s date of service while Medicare has a deadline that’s 365 days from the date of service. Filing deadlines vary from payer to payer, so make sure you’re up to speed on the filing limits of the payers your office works with.
Being unaware of timely filing limits can result in some big denials that have high dollar values. Simply making sure you don’t miss deadlines can offer a healthy increase in practice revenue. If you work with a diverse range of insurers, it’s also critical to make sure that all the providers in your practice are credentialed with those insurers.
Strategy #3 – Update Your Billing Cycle
How’s your billing cycle? It’s a common area where practices are hemorrhaging money. Consolidating and standardizing your revenue cycle by automating key processes, eliminating the use of multiple software, and standardizing your denial management processes can all prove helpful. Just making changes across your billing cycle has the ability to improve workflow efficiency and improve your monthly revenue.
Strategy #4 - Improve Patient Experiences
Today’s healthcare landscape has changed to a consumer-driven one, which means that when patients are unhappy with your practice, they leave. When patients leave, particularly when you’re not bringing in enough new patients, it can lead to a steady decline in practice revenue. The solution – improve patient experiences.
Healthcare IT News reported that one OB-GYN practice was able to improve patient experiences with the addition of a patient portal. It reduced the time spent taking information in patient rooms, reducing patient wait times. It also made it possible for the office to offer a faster response time for prescription refills and lab results. Patients were also able to update their health history online.
The patient portal also offered patients the ability to pay their bill online, which reduced collections and the age of patient balances for the practice. Collections staff were freed up to focus their time on pursuing insurance claims, denials, and appeals. All of these benefits worked together to not only improve the patient experience, but also to boost revenue, too.
Transparent billing practices are also key to improve patient experiences. Confusing bills and inconsistent answers from the billing department can leave patients guessing and unhappy. This often results in patients not paying their bills, and it could result in the loss of patients. Improving billing practices and offering patient statements that clearly lay out their financial responsibilities improve patient satisfaction and increase the speed of payment – both improve revenue.
Strategy #5 – Reduce Denials and Time Claims Spend in A/R by Outsourcing
Reducing your claims denials and the time that claims spend in accounts receivable is critical to improving your practice’s revenue. Of course, it’s often difficult and costly to deal with these problems in-house. Lowering your denials rate requires claims auditing, resolving coding problems, and accelerating the denial recovery process while implementing strategies to protect your practice from denials in the future. For many OB-GYN practices, outsourcing billing and coding is not only more cost-effective, but it also helps to lower denials, reduce time claims spend in A/R and improve the inflow of revenue. It’s especially beneficial to work with a company that’s skilled in OB-GYN-specific billing and coding.
Are you looking for ways that your OB-GYN practice can begin increasing revenue this year? We’d like to work with you toward that goal. Contact M-Scribe today to learn more about our billing and coding services and how we can help you reduce denials and improve overall profits while bringing down your operating expenses.