For medical practices of all shapes and sizes, lost revenue is far too common.
As of late, many doctors have found themselves working longer and longer hours, only to see their practices continue to struggle. While practices lose revenue for many reasons, one of the most common reasons is because of poor billing and collections processes. Learning how to efficiently and effectively collect payments is an absolute necessity for the success of your practice, and that’s why, in our last blog, our collections agency in Colorado went over a few helpful tips to improve the billing processes in your practice. Keep reading to learn more!
#7. Provide your patients with alternative payment options.
It’s safe to say that the vast majority of your patients — if not all of your patients — want to pay their balance in full. But, the problem is that not all of them have the means to do so. For patients who have large, outstanding balances, and for patients who can’t pay their balances, sometimes, the best way to recover the funds is by offering them an alternative payment option. Consider working with your patients by providing payment plans, deferrals, interest-only payments and other out-of-the-box payment options. Not only will it help you recover more of your revenue, but it will also help to take a little stress off of your patients’ shoulders.
#8. Follow up on completed payments.
Just because a payment has been completed, it doesn’t mean it was completed properly. People make mistakes, and both insurance companies and patients can make mistakes on payments. Your practice needs to ensure that each and every bill has been paid in full, and if you don’t, underpayments and missed payments are likely to fall through the cracks. And, if you do find underpayments, follow up with the payer until they’ve paid off their balance.
#9. Follow up on denied claims.
Not only should you follow up on completed payments, but you should also follow up on denied claims. Even claims that are accurately coded have a slim chance of getting denied, and there’s an even higher risk when there are mistakes made or problems in the process. In some cases, claims are denied when they shouldn’t be, and the only way to know for sure if a mistake has been made in a denial is to follow up. Never assume that the insurance company is correct. Make following up on denials a regular part of your billing and collections process, and keep following up on denials until they’ve been paid.
#10. Make appeals.
As we mentioned in our last point, you should never just accept the first denial from an insurance company and leave it at that. Instead of just giving up at the first sign of defeat, make an appeal. Payers are sometimes willing to give you a little wiggle room in coding guidelines, but you need to provide them with documentation as to why they should make an exception in your case, and why the claim should be paid. While appeals won’t help you successfully recoup that revenue in 100 percent of cases, it gives you a better chance of getting the balance paid than if you do nothing!
#11. Utilize the USPS Address Service.
When patients relocate, they don’t always provide practices they’ve previously visited with a new mailing address. This can make it almost impossible to get unpaid balances paid, especially if you’re trying to do so without having to rely on a collections agency. But, luckily, for an affordable fee, you can get “address service requested” added to each and every bill you mail out. Then, the post office will keep you updated with the patient’s updated mailing address.
#12. Track the results of your billing and collections process.
How will you ever know if your billings and collections process needs to be updated or enhanced unless you keep track of it? Keeping a good eye on what’s going on with your billing and collections process is essential, and you should make it a point to thoroughly review your processes on a regular basis. It’s also important to get and listen to feedback from your billing staff about which parts of the process are working, and which are not.
We hope these tips will help you reduce the revenue lost through inadequate billing and collections processes in your practice. But, if you’re still seeing unpaid balances that you are having trouble recouping, please contact us! We are Colorado’s premier collections agency, and we specialize in helping our clients increase their recovery rates and streamline their billing and collections processes through our friendly-yet-firm approach. We offer a wide range of services, from insurance claims follow-ups to denials and appeals oversight. Let us help you recover unpaid balances and revolutionize the billing and collections process in your practice. Contact us today to start working with our collections specialists!