How well you manage your revenue cycle has a direct effect on your bottom line and the success of your business as a whole. It doesn’t matter how many patients you’re getting in the door if it’s taking months to receive the expected payments for the services you provide.
But, you shouldn’t have to spend hours each day tracking down the payments you’ve worked hard to earn!
There’s a better way to get things done. Here are a few tips on how to make your revenue cycle management operations much easier and more effective.
1. Implement automated workflows
Think about all the additional success you’d have if you had more time to spend on training your staff, resubmitting low-value claims (which do add up) or treating more patients every day.
You can’t focus on these things as much as you’d like right now because of all the time you’re investing on eligibility verifications and claims processing. With automated workflows, though, the way you spend your time can significantly increase in value while the effectiveness of your revenue cycle management improves.
Instead of going through claims statuses one by one or waiting on standard mail to get a response from payers, you can access the information your revenue cycle needs with just a few clicks of your mouse. You’d be able to access historical patient data and catch mistakes much easier, too. The result? A faster, more accurate way of managing your revenue cycle.
2. Understand patient preferences
Automating your revenue cycle doesn’t have to end with you. You can also make it easier for patients to submit payments by giving them advanced options – like paying via credit card online or setting up recurring charges.
Your patients are already familiar with online payments. They use tech-savvy payment methods for their home bills, personal subscriptions and even to buy groceries! Giving them the option to pay in the same manner for their healthcare needs isn’t just smart, it’s practically a must.
3. Keep up with industry changes
In addition to the fact that advanced payment methods make a lot of sense for modern-day patients, having them available reflects your commitment to providing an exceptional patient experience. It goes hand in hand with the rising importance of value-based care.
You have to do more than diagnose a condition or provide successful treatment these days. You need to consider how selective patients are and provide the attention and availability they want as well as the advanced services they need.
It wouldn’t hurt to have an in-house expert to help you keep up with industry changes. This one set of eyes and ears can be dedicated to tracking things like new payment models or stricter infection prevention requirements while you focus your attention on other aspects of your business.
4. Collect payments up front
Here’s a revenue cycle management tip you can utilize regardless of changes in the industry or the payment methods you provide: start collecting payments before you render services.
This will cause a major shift in how much money is sitting in accounts receivable for an indefinite period of time versus what can be counted as revenue. Even if you choose to only collect partial payment, that’s an improvement.
5. Don’t let “lost” payments slip through the cracks
While something is better than nothing, ideally, you should be collecting the full payment that every patient/payer owes. At times, this may come down to re-submitting claims and following up with patients more than once.
Some payments simply have to be tracked down. Still, it’s worth spending the time to get what you’ve billed for rather than letting these amounts slip through the cracks. They can either add up as lost costs or as assets – it just depends on how well you stay on top of what’s owed to you.
In fact, one simple thought applies to all these tips: revenue cycle management doesn’t have to be complicated or slow. But, it can’t be improved until you take the action necessary to make it faster and more accurate. Start making the changes your bottom line needs today.
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