Physician billing can be a daunting process. Those working in doctors' offices have enough to worry about without constantly trying to keep up with the ever-changing regulations behind collecting medical payments. Unfortunately, collecting payments efficiently is the key to running a successful medical business. So in order to help you achieve that goal, we created this list of the 6 most important pieces of information that will improve collection procedures:
- Phone Number
- Employment Information
- Social Security number
- Driver's License Number
It also helps to verify a patient's medical insurance before the date of the appointment. The reason for this is it can lower the cost of securing a loan and reduce the odds of forgiving a loan, and it can increase your cash flow. This is also a good time to discuss outstanding balances and co-pays. The more funds you have at your disposal the more you will be able to acquire. It is important to understand some billing systems are simply out of date, so your staff may need proper training to take the next step. Relying on technology is a given these days, so you might as well embrace it sooner rather than later.
The revenue cycle will be supported by having a financial policy in writing with the approval of legal counsel and the patient's signature. The patient should also have a copy. This document should detail the collection of co-pays and unpaid balances, other payment options for services not covered by insurance, and a description of pre-paid services. Your collection modules automatically make statements with messages and ongoing collection letters. The beginning stages of the cycle includes a check sheet to confirm all relevant information is recorded at the time of appointment setting.
All basic demographic information should also be verified. The patient information form must be filled out by new patients. For established members they should review their information once a year. Copies of their insurance card will assist in keeping track of patients. Always look over the form to make sure it is complete and all signatures are in place. Another point that must be noted is it may be imperative to have a staff member entrusted to work on pre-certification and prior authorization work. This is an essential position in surgery, orthopedic, and neurology offices.
Lastly, reimbursement from the government is projected to decrease and it is in your best interest to monitor all areas of the collection procedure. To reduce gaps in physician billing you need access to quality resources. So if you would like to ask us any questions about how we can make your practice run more efficiently, please feel free to contact us at any time.