Efficient revenue cycle management is of utmost importance in healthcare. With new high deductible health plans popping up every day, and the move to value-based reimbursement policies, healthcare providers are finding it more difficult to collect complete payments from patients.
Revenue cycle management is the method used by healthcare providers to monitor incoming payments from patients. The process tracks all revenue, from the first contact with patients to the final payment of balance.
The landscape of the healthcare industry is changing rapidly, and both small family practices and large hospitals are having to learn to adapt quickly.
Download our E-book: The Pains and Gains in Your Healthcare Business Journey
Typical issues with revenue cycle management
You can't fix something before first identifying the problem. Therefore, the first step to improving the revenue cycle for your health practice is to identify the common problems with the system. Here are a few common issues:
Medical Billing errors
The simplest mistakes in the medical billing and collections process can impede your revenue cycle. Basic mistakes such as misspelled names, wrong plan information, and patient ineligibility can result in denied claims. This slows down your revenue cycle management process and leads to delayed payments. And in many cases, incomplete payments.
It is worth it to invest in the medical billing process, in the form of more staff time, or simply more workers. Another option is to outsource your medical billing process to a trusted company. This investment pays for itself by preventing weeks of delayed payments.
Inconvenient payment systems for patients
The basic understanding is this: make it as easy as possible for your customers to pay you. This is true for all forms of businesses. This includes healthcare.
How are you collecting payment from your customers?
Are you stuck in the stone age with a cash-only policy? Or can patients also use their credit and debit cards?
We live in a fast-paced world, and people expect information to be at their fingertips—especially with technology advancing every day. If your medical practice is not making use of available technology, it will be reflected in your revenue cycle.
Read more: 5 Ways Big Data is Impacting Healthcare
Do you have a clearly defined workflow for client intake? What's the first thing you do when a client contacts you? And the next step?
A lack of defined workflow can lead to errors in billing and other areas. This slows down your team's performance, as well as the revenue cycle.
How to Make the most of your revenue cycle management
It takes time and money to improve revenue cycle management. But there are some simple things you can do that make a big difference.
Here are four ways to make the most of your revenue cycle management:
Outsourcing is a great way to streamline your revenue cycle. Outsourcing partners are usually experts in their fields, which means you don't have to worry about training workers. Also, these companies invest in the relevant certifications and latest technology, to keep up with industry standards.
Consider outsourcing your medical billing and collections process. Errors in billing and collections is a real pain point for healthcare providers, so outsourcing this process can save your practice a lot of money overtime.
2) Simplify payment options for patients
The easier it is for patients to make payments, the more likely they are to complete those payments. Simpler payments can be achieved by offering various methods of payment, such as cash, check, credit and debit cards.
Another way to simplify payments is to offer online payment options. This is more convenient, which means patients are less likely to delay their payments.
3) Use electronic systems and automate
Automating tasks such as sending statements not only saves time, it increases the chances of receiving full, on time payments from patients.
Research also shows that moving from paper to electronic statements reduces days to payment from 20 days to 9 days. Electronic statements also increase the percentage of full payments from 77% to 95%.
These incomplete payments slow the revenue cycle for healthcare providers. To reduce this issue, providers should consider collecting payments upfront, giving estimates before starting treatment, or keeping patients’ payment details on file for easy collection.
There you have it. Three ways to improve your healthcare revenue cycle management. Is your medical practice taking the necessary steps to maintain cash flow?
Infinit-O especially is a trusted healthcare outsourcing partner who can help you build and operate a dedicated team of well-trained healthcare professionals, especially for you and your unique needs. When it comes to healthcare, Infinit-O can meet your goals, whether they be growth, better productivity or simply bottom-line cost savings. With our access to highly-skilled healthcare experts who use cutting-edge technology, we provide some of the best strategic solutions for your business. We are ISO-certified, HIPAA- and GDPR-compliant, so your company’s and patients’ data are safe with us.
When you’re ready to grow, think Infinit-O!
Finance and Accounting
Data and Research
Information Technology Outsourcing