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Managing Your Practice’s Revenue Cycle: 7 Steps for Improvement

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7-Steps-RCMAs regulations and reform are continuing to alter the current healthcare landscape, effective financial and administrative connections in physician practices are more important than ever to maintain a healthy revenue cycle. Whether your practice aims to maintain physician compensation at desired levels, keep up with overhead expenses or invest in new technologies, the critical factor for success is effective management of the revenue cycle.

Nationally recognized revenue cycle expert Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC, has developed a seven step system that any practice can use to help redefine and manage revenue cycle efficiency. These steps include:

  1. Review your payer contracts. It is important to develop positive, meaningful relationships with your payers to have smooth payment processes.
  2. Implement a financial clearance process. Set up clear financial expectations before service is rendered so everyone knows what to expect.
  3. Collect payments at the time of service. Establish guidelines about patient responsibility to help with pre-service payments which will increase your practice’s percentage of successfully collected payments.
  4. Deploy technology. Electronic health records (EHRs) and other automated revenue cycle technology systems have made it easy to improve cash flow, reduce costs and enable staff to work with new technology.
  5. Prevent and manage denials. Develop a systematic process for managing and tracking denials so you can monitor them by type, frequency and payer to reveal invaluable information about new opportunities to make your collections process run more smoothly.
  6. Reengineer your collections cycle. Shorten your collections cycle to 90 days or less and develop a balanced collections process, which includes working with a collections agency and establishing a financial hardship policy within your organization.
  7. Develop a dashboard. Establish a set of metrics to regularly measure and report, and make sure they are easily accessible through tools such as an online dashboard.

Are you ready to start enhancing your practice’s financial future? Learn more about how each step can help your practice improve its revenue cycle by downloading this free white paper, Seven Steps to Improve Your Practice’s Revenue Cycle Management, and get on track for a successful revenue cycle year in 2014.