Although the year is still young, 2010 promises to be a year of challenges. The economic news remains unstable and, like all sectors of American business and industry, healthcare will need to adopt strategies to protect its financial health.
Many pundits predict that the first and second quarters may be particularly tight for physician groups and other providers. Patients’ health plan benefits will reset to zero, and they may be pressed to meet their co-pays and deductibles as they, too, struggle with the economic downturn.
Here are five strategies you might consider implementing to help you manage through tight times:
- Proactively monitor patients’ compliance with care management plans and preventive service recommendations. Use your EMR and PM systems’ data-mining capabilities to identify patients due for services. Institute outreach programs – via mail, e-mail or telephone – to encourage them to schedule appointments. This helps maintain patient volume, and optimize revenue from exams, screenings and diagnostic tests.
- Ensure you have the tools in place to verify patient eligibility prior to scheduled visits. This allows you to ensure reimbursement from payers and collect balances from patients at the time of service.
- Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of your accounts receivables workflow to verify that all of your systems are being leveraged to their fullest capability. Ensure that both claims and remittance are being managed efficiently. Beyond improving productivity, this will minimize days in A/R.
- Investigate strategies to simplify secondary claims submission. These often represent cash that slips through your fingertips. Solutions that help simplify the collection of these payments can bolster your bottom line.
- Support your patients in their efforts to pay their balances in a timely manner. You might, for instance, offer a discount to patients who pay at the time of service or within 10 days. Likewise, offer your patients the ability to pay their bills with a credit card online via your secure Web site. Any incentive or convenience is bound to prompt them to take care of outstanding balances more quickly.
What are you doing to increase revenue at your practice? Feel free to share your ideas and tips as a comment below.