Valentine’s Day is here. This annual tradition is intended as a celebration of love. Because when you are in love, the whole world seems wonderful. The sun shines brighter. Flowers are more fragrant. Food even tastes better. When you are stuck in a bad relationship, however, it can turn your whole world upside down… and not in a good way.
As we have recently been launched into a new year, now is a good opportunity to find new areas for improvement. Reviewing and reflecting on performance allows specialty practices to identify areas in which they can work better, as well as determine ways to make processes more streamlined, reliable and patient-friendly. How should specialty practices figure out if their current operations have room for improvement? Here are three areas that can reveal potential opportunities.
As patients become more active healthcare consumers, they want to have stronger engagement with their providers, including more direct interaction outside of the yearly check-in. Recent research backs up this idea, revealing that survey respondents of all generations are seeking greater connectivity with healthcare practices, including convenient communications via text and online tools. More specifically, 73 percent of patients want to be able to text their doctor’s office, while nearly 80 percent would like to receive text messages from their doctor, especially about appointments.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, people are starting to celebrate love and friendship. However, given the competing priorities your front office staff deals with each day, they may have trouble putting their hearts into any festivities.
As health care organizations aim to tighten their business processes to drive revenue and increase cash flow, specialty practices sometimes find themselves behind the curve, unsure of where to begin to improve performance. Part of the reason is there are some common misconceptions about the revenue cycle and the best ways to optimize it.
Many specialty providers wrestle with denials. For example, ophthalmology practices have one of the highest denial rates—weighing in at nearly 13 percent. If left unaddressed, denials can translate to significant money, and the financial fallout for a practice can be severe. As mentioned in a previous blog, providers should consider creating a denials prevention program as a sound strategy for improving revenue cycle performance. Here are three elements to keep in mind when designing such a program.
Re-tooling your revenue cycle to make it more efficient can go a long way in improving your specialty practices’ financial performance. As mentioned in the previous blog, a key area of opportunity is patient collections. The growth in high-deductible health plans is pushing patients to pay more out-of-pocket for their health care. In response, practices should be implementing processes and various technology to consistently collect these payments. Otherwise, money will be left on the table. Here are three strategies for improving the patient collections process.
There are numerous external factors that can impact a specialty practice’s ability to remain financially strong—shrinking payer reimbursements, evolving regulatory requirements and the exploding number of high deductible health plans, just to name a few. A key to navigating these evolving dynamics is a high-performing revenue cycle—one that is not only efficient but also effective at capturing all the revenue that a practice has earned.