In healthcare, nothing stays the same for long. While changes like ICD-10 and Meaningful Use are good, they do present new challenges, particularly when it comes to ensuring optimal financial performance.
To verify your revenue cycle is operating at the highest possible level, it’s imperative to regularly evaluate each step of the payment process and identify potential areas for improvement.
Below are a handful of best practices your practice can employ at key points in the revenue cycle to help drive productivity and improve cash flow:
• Pre-visit. Automation can dramatically streamline and improve front-end processes like eligibility verification, but not all practices are taking advantage of it. If you haven’t taken the plunge, now is the time, before ICD-10 adds more complexity.
• Visit. With rising co-insurance and deductible amounts, patient responsibilities represent a significant portion of practice revenue. Help automate the payment process by providing a website where your patients can quickly and securely submit payments when it’s not possible to collect the full amount at the time of service.
• Claims submission. Coding guidelines are constantly changing, and cumbersome code books are no longer a viable way to research updates, especially with the impending ICD-10 transition. Utilize automated tools to help make the process of finding the correct ICD-9/ICD-10 codes, HCPCS and modifier much easier.
• A/R management. Understanding denial trends is the best way to prevent future denials. Many clearinghouses offer dashboards to help practices analyze denial patterns and other key financial performance indicators. Talk to your clearinghouse to see how they can help you track important metrics like these.
If you’ve not already taken these steps, think about what’s holding you back. Is it a lack of staffing? Do you need better tools or more training? The white paper, Seven Steps to Improving Your Practice’s Revenue Cycle Management, can help lead the way with practical advice and tips on how to enhance your practice’s financial performance.