Medical Practice Management
Mar 21

A few things that hurt your practice’s revenue cycle

There are plenty of revenue cycle techniques meant to help practices boost profits. While many focus on ways to bring more money in, sometimes saving money is just as important.

The problem is many practices engage in processes that diminish the net returns they see from their medical billing operations. Here are a few “worst practices” and how your practice can do away with them.

Not Resubmitting Denied Claims

All practices experience claim denials, some more than others of course. Those that incur regular denials should look into solutions like practice management software and outsourcing to fix the issue. But even practices that rarely experience denials should always resubmit when it does occur.

Although resubmittal isn’t cheap – it costs about $25 to $30 to manage the average denial –resubmitting denied claims will prove profitable to your practices as long as the reimbursement is higher than the costs. This is one of those situations where the adage “every penny counts” fits perfectly.

Manual Claims Processes

As mentioned earlier, PM software can help reduce errors, but that’s not the only benefit of electronic billing. According to the American Medical Association, it costs $3.73 more to submit a clean manual claim than an electronic one.

Multiply that amount by the thousands of claims you’re likely to submit each year and that’s how much you’ll save by switching to PM software. Automation brings savings by taking care of tasks electronically, cutting staffing costs and submitting clean claims at a faster rate.

Failing to Collect at Point of Service

Once patients leave the office, the chances of collecting copays not only decrease, but the financial investment needed to secure the copays increases. Think about all of the collections letters and phone calls you spend time and money on to collect copays. And if these don’t end up working, you may have to hire a collections agency, which will take a percentage of the money it collects.

That’s why it’s imperative to collect at the time of service. Telling patients what they should expect to pay out-of-pocket goes a long way toward securing payment. Also, asking them “how” rather than “if” they’d like to pay increases the likelihood of collecting.

Weekly Claims Submission

Filing claims weekly doesn’t seem like a bad idea at first thought, but it increases the turnaround time for seeing returns on your claims. Leaving claims for the end of the week increases the chances them getting lost in the shuffle, which can lead to timely filing denials.

Instead, claims should be batched and submitted at the end of each day. While it’s possible to do this manually, PM software makes the task much easier. It all goes back to automation. Simply put, claims submittal goes from a long, written process to something that’s taken care of with a few clicks of the mouse.

The revenue cycle is the life-blood of your practice. It’s important to optimize it from multiple angles to ensure your practice is as profitable as possible. So, don’t forget to keep these common faults in mind when trying to grow a financially healthy practice.

About Reed Tinsley, CPA

As a top advisor to physicians, I help increase practice profits by delivering hands-on, expert medical accounting/tax support, practice counsel, and revenue-building strategies. Read more →