Revenue management is essential to the health care industry, as it helps manage claims, and controls payment and cash flow. It ensures that the billing process goes smoothly to generate adequate revenue to invest further in your business. Therefore, your practice should always be striving to improve revenue cycle management. Here are a few ways you can better revenue management to build a more profitable practice:
1. Keep track of Medicare payments
It's not unusual for Medicare to delay payments to providers, which could result in money lost for your practice. The reason behind the delay could be due to a claim that was improperly coded or insufficient documentation. Be sure to identify the exact date that Medicare stops or delays payment. This way, your practice can take the appropriate steps to receive those payments that are due. Your practice can enroll in a medical review program, which consists of a clinician or certified coder reviewing Medicare claims to reduce payment error. They identify and address billing errors regarding coverage and coding.
2. Make a good impression on patients
"Training employees at your practice is critical to improving patient care, and thus improving revenue management."
Delayed collection time in accounts receivable is a common issue within revenue cycle management. By decreasing that collection time, your practice could increase cash flow. Fine-tuning the registration desk can help your practice make a good impression on patients, therefore decreasing time in accounts receivable. Employees working the registration desk should be properly trained to collect the right types of information and to figure out when inaccurate information is being presented. Part of that training should also include controlling demeanor. Patients want things done quickly. Being kind, courteous and calm toward toward those patients can have a bigger impact than your practice thinks.
"When you think of the front office, you think of chaos - phones ringing, nurses coming for charts," Elizabeth Woodcock, an Atlanta-based physician practice consultant, explained to the American College of Physicians. "Chaos creates errors."
Errors, of course, translate to a longer time in accounts receivable, losing your practice money. Training employees at your practice is critical to improving patient care, and thus improving revenue management.
3. Have important conversations with the staff
The employees who work at your practice are the people who ultimately have a direct impact on the revenue management cycle. Just like doctors, they play a part in patient satisfaction, and asking them what they think about their job and the system is a way of investing in your practice. Ask employees how they think patient satisfaction can be enhanced to improve the practice. They deal with patients on a regular basis, so they might have some ideas as to how your overall practice can be improved, helping to boost cash flow in the long term.
4. Make communication a priority
Communicating often with your payers can help your practice avoid issues such a under-reimbursing and the denial of claims. Communication is what puts things in motion. You can also rely on the Enterprise Data Warehouse to properly monitor contracts. The EDW is a database that holds important business information and makes it accessible throughout the practice.