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5 Tech tools to boost financial performance

Most physicians are already using EHR systems to record patient encounters, track clinical progress, and report on outcomes. But fewer are taking full advantage of them as a tool to improve financial performance, according to practice management experts Lucy Zielinski, vice president of The Camden Group, and Derek Kosiorek, a principal consultant with the Medical Group Management Association. While there are myriad technology features and add-ons that can help optimize workflow and bring in payments, a few are becoming essential to revenue cycle efficiency. They recommend starting at the front desk with these five tools that leverage the capabilities of your system.

Read more at Physicians Practice.com.

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Revenue Cycle Management: The Front Desk

Your first chance to avoid a denied claim happens when a patient walks through your door. It might start with seemingly inconsequential errors, like leaving one letter out of a patient’s name, but those small mistakes get compounded as they move through the coding and billing process. Down the road, that one missed letter could end up costing hours of precious staff time and significant delays in getting reimbursed for that visit.

The key is making sure your front medical office revenue cyclestaff is well-trained and prepared to gather all necessary information before, during, and after the visit. That means being diligent about verifying insurance coverage and becoming familiar with different policies in order to educate patients.

Consider these tips for avoiding front-end mistakes that can cost you down the road:

Verify insurance in advance. Ask the patient about their insurance coverage when you schedule the visit, follow up several days before their appointment, and re-confirm  when they arrive in the office. Double check their phone number, address, and other personal information.

Follow up on errors. Coding and billing staff should alert staff at the front desk about any frequent errors that are causing denials so they can modify their procedures accordingly.

Be clear about costs. A cost estimating tool integrated into your practice management system can generate a quick estimate of patients’ financial responsibilities for upcoming services or procedures. These are often available through insurers.

Talk to patients. Knowing the details of a patient’s visit upfront will help you schedule it appropriately. For billing purposes, keep preventive services, such as a mammogram, separate from procedural visits, such as skin tag removal.

Think of time as money. Front desk mistakes, however small, aren’t just annoyances because they ca lead to multiple delays. When a denied claim arrives, someone has to spend time investigating the reason, correcting the error, and resubmitting the claim. And if it takes longer than 90 days, that money could be lost for good.

For more information, check out a a longer version of this column that I wrote for Physicians Practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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