Covid-19 is here to stay for a while until its vaccine reaches the people. The pandemic has already derailed businesses across the world including the healthcare sector. The ongoing year has brought possibly one of the biggest financial challenges for the healthcare sector which is already facing the shortage of healthcare professionals during the crisis. As the sector is moving towards easing out for normal business proceedings and the practices are opening their doors for the patients with all necessary safety measures, practices need to look at all the possible perspectives to improve their Revenue Cycle Outcomes to keep the business running.
In this article we talk about the Top 10 tips to improve your Revenue Cycle outcomes in 2020. Let’s take a look.
Collecting complete information from patients and validating it with records is quite imperative and is one of the primary factors which decides if the claims would be accepted or denied by the insurances. The office staff, especially the front-line staff including front office executive, medical representative, or the first person the patient meets after entering your office, need to be educated and made aware about its importance as incorrect details in important information such as patient’s data, if shared, can result in returned or denied claims. Make your staff aware of the significance of the information received from the patient and the way it’s communicated further with insurances which plays an effective role in improving revenue cycle outcomes.
The patient should be provided with an online portal for payments. They can login into the portal and select the method of payment which suits them (credit card, debit card etc). They should have financing options and EMI options also available for payments. This will not only boost up the total revenue but also provide facility to the customers to pay at their comfort.
Thoroughly examine all the unbilled accounts and denied claims. It will allow you to create a follow-up plan for those specific accounts. Categorize the accounts as per their deadlines so that your billing staff can work on them accordingly. Connect with the patients who have pending dues and start following-up with the insurance companies for delayed or denied claims. It will help you increase the much required cash flow.
The timeline of payment collection is crucial for your practice. If all your patients pay on time, your revenue cycle will be maintained. However, it doesn’t always happen how we expect! For self-paying patients and the ones who pay through health insurance and other means, you should always create a billing and payment timeline. Experts suggest that creating a follow-up plan along with the timeline helps to improve the revenue cycle. This includes timely sharing of invoices with the paying parties and requesting payment at a certain time. In case the payer is an insurance, regular and timely follow-up through established channels is equally important.
It’s said that prompt contact and follow-ups usually deliver the best outcomes when it comes to bill payments. Make sure the patients are well aware of these milestones and all the services that they are paying for, well in advance!
As the businesses across the globe are starting to open up steadily, it’s been observed that prices for many services have been increased. If rates for oral procedures, routine check-ups, consultation, etc. have risen due to the Corona pandemic, it becomes your professional and moral responsibility to inform the current and prospective patients in advance and assure them of the best possible treatment.
Easy payment modes/options are something every patient looks for! Simplifying payment options and offering multiple modes for payment has become even more crucial during Covid-19 when the financial crisis seems to be impacting not just industries but individuals as well. Allow a patient to choose a payment mode as per his/her financial suitability. If possible, offer whatever payment mode your patient asks for! Offering flexible payment plans and a comfortable timeline will boost your revenue cycle.
It has always been said, and has been proved time and again as well, that you should leave it to professionals. In the current crisis, bringing a billing and collection expert or a team of professionals on board is the best way to boost the revenue cycle outcomes. Even if your patients have missed the bill or forgot to pay as per the provided timeline, the experts exactly know how to approach a patient when it comes to getting your bills paid on time, particularly in the fragile economic situation of current times.
Claims, alone, play a vital role in the revenue cycle. Denied or delayed claims can give a setback to your financial gains. It’s essential not just to process the claims correctly but the claims approval rate has to be on the positive side to better the revenue cycle outcomes. Make sure your staff or your billing partner knows how to get the claims approved faster.
Your regular patients are possibly your biggest payers. Maintaining an effective communication channel with them all the while and constantly reminding them of your existing, additional, and new services and products is an integral element for improving revenue cycle outcomes. You can also offer or maintain quarterly or yearly contracts with your regular patients. It will not just assure your patients of timely services, but will also help you maintain the pace of your revenue cycle as well.
The Covid- 19 pandemic has forced us to push our limits and adapt to the new working conditions in almost all sectors and the healthcare sector is no different. With the use of right technologies healthcare professionals have been able to provide care even during such testing times. Stay updated with the technical advancement in your industry. Use relevant and latest consumer and commercial technology such as updated billing tools/software, AI-based coding software systems, and online solutions to customer queries, etc. It improves the overall quality of your services and is directly proportional to the improved revenue cycle outcomes for your practice.
Revenue generation is an essential part for every sector including healthcare. As the Covid-19 crisis continues to impact the industries worldwide, it’s vital for dental practitioners to be proactive and take the necessary steps, like the ones explained above, to improve the efficiency of the revenue cycle of their practices.