The medical billing industry is cutthroat. Any advantage you can gain in health care billing, you take. The margins are that thin. If you are like every other manager, you use anything you can to improve efficiency, accuracy, quality, and profitability. Here are some tips to improve your medical billing practices.
Take Advantage of Technology
You should make sure your billing software and system are as up to date as possible. Use technology to root out preregistration errors and coding mistakes and fix them before they are submitted for insurance payment. Using state-of-the-art medical health care billing systems, changes in billing rules for private insurance and government plans can be quickly assimilated into your standard operating procedures.
Utilize Business Intelligence and Data Analysis
You also can use technology to track employee performance in health care billing and coding and identify trends, areas that need work, and patterns that need to be watched. Data mining lets you assess service levels, customer trends in usage and payment, and your employees’ quality performance. Additionally, data analysis lets you assess your employees, peak work times, error rates, and general billing proficiency. That can lead you to recommend training, advancement, or retraining. All of that lets you make decisions to gain in efficiency, productivity, quality, and profitability.
Communication Is Key
One of the most pronounced and frequent complaints from customers who deal with customer service representatives is that the representative tends to be abrupt and rude. By emphasizing a professional and helpful manner on the phone with customers, they are much more likely to cooperate with your billing needs. Additionally, you can communicate policies and procedures to customers to help them avoid confusion.
Contracts Are Your Friend
Any services you provide should be under contract and governed by contractual language. The contract should outline responsibilities, scope of work, expectations, pay scales, legal protections, remediation processes, and general client-vendor relationship duties. Even if you follow it loosely, having a contract on hand protects you legally, and it lends an air of professionalism to your operation.
With all the coding and rules changes over the last ten years, it’s a wonder anyone knows how to accurately code and submit an invoice for payment. Because of that, creating and running a robust training program is paramount. If for no other reason than to help your employees understand the process better, training and retraining when you discover a problem lets you nip disturbing patterns in the bud.
Focus on Process Improvement
There is no process that humans have ever developed that can’t be improved upon. That goes double for the medical billing arena. Because of all the changes, many processes are rendered obsolete or redundant and not caught until errors bring them to the attention of management. Work with your employees to try and find process improvements throughout your operation. Even slight changes can sometimes yield huge dividends.
Implement Quality Controls
You don’t want to discover you have a billing issue when the client discovers errors. Implement a quality control program that lets your employees check themselves and fix errors as a team.
The medical billing industry is competitive and every chance for improvement counts. Follow these rules and your system will be second to none. For more information, check out Medical Business Services LLC.