When the patient arrives the day of the appointment, the first thing your staff should be verifying is the patient’s insurance. Sometimes you find that insurance has changed in just the short period between scheduling and appointment day. Another reason for insurance verification is to prevent or detect insurance fraud/identity theft. According to The Institute of Medicine over $75 billion annually is lost from the U.S. Healthcare System due to insurance fraud. Having your staff check for duplicate records and payment fraud is important. Ensuring your staff is checking the eligibility of insurance before service can aid in the detection of insurance fraud. How does your practice prevent such fraud? Simple, your practices part in it all is to ensure the insurance is in fact tied to the patient. To do that, it is vital that your staff verifies the identity of the patient first and then searches for any records attached to that patient.
Your billing process begins at the scheduling stage. Since the scheduling stage is the first point of contact, it is the first opportunity to assemble the needed data for the billing stage, if the information isn’t collected or accurate, then there will be no way to bill. Your staff need to be aware of all the information they are required to collect from the patients. Usually it helps to have a checklist for the staff to follow to ensure all patient information is collected. It is imperative that the staff collect as much information as possible in this initial phone call. Taking the time to take down patient demographics and insurance can save time, allowing for better accuracy.
Additionally, any existing patients’ information should be checked and verified at the time of their call. Confirming existing patients’ info and that insurance has not changed will prevent issues during the billing process. Before your staff finishes the call with the patient ensure they gather all their current contact information, concerns, insurance information and then proceed to provide them with any pre-visit paperwork. It is important that your staff explains what the patient needs to bring to the appointment, and the potential copay or payment that is expected at the time of the appointment. Here may be a great opportunity to ask the patient for credit card information to put on file to allow for easy billing for co-pays. This not only can be a convenience for the patient, but a safety for your practice to ensure there is one way to collect payment. If the patient does not wish to provide the information over the phone, be sure to include a section in their pre-visit paperwork where they can provide this information.
The use of EHR systems for the healthcare industry is pivotal and one of the biggest investments for a practice to have. The article below discusses how EHR systems can boost collection results by easing the process of the revenue cycle. More modern EHR systems have the ability to handle most aspects of the front end of the revenue cycle. So how does the EHR system boost collection results?
A federal grant will be issued to University of Alabama to study if telehealth can be used to increase diagnosis and treatments of eye diseases in rural and under-served populations.
Did you know, on average patient no shows can cost the healthcare industry up to $150 billion annually? That is an immense waste of money that could contribute to more beneficial areas for the healthcare industry. Each missed appointment for a practice is lost money, which means there needs to be a solution for missing income. Some practices find it beneficial to have a fee charged to those who miss appointments to recoup some of the lost income. However, if there is a way to minimize the amount of missed appointments, then there is a better chance for increasing income. Starting with the beginning of the process, if scheduling is done well and pre-registration is completed, and the staff follow up with appointment reminders there is a higher probability that somewhere in those parts of the process the patient will cancel is needed.
One of the top reasons for no shows is due to fear of payment. If prior to the appointment the patient knows exactly what they will owe after insurance, then they will more likely be willing to attend the appointment or reschedule for another time. Unfortunately, the number one reason for no shows is forgetfulness. Therefore, the appointment reminder phone call is important. The patient is more likely to cancel or remember to arrive for the appointment. Lastly, your practice should allow for cancellations, but there needs to be a cancellation policy in place. Patients should have ease of access to cancel through a patient portal, or the ability to call to cancel and know their call will be answered. Patients should be given a certain time frame in which they can cancel without penalty or reschedule. Take the time to review how your practice handles no shows, and from there find the areas for improvement, your cash-flow may depend on it.
One key strategy for improving your practices time-management, and overall effectiveness is to implement providing patients with pre-registration and any pre-visit paperwork. In collecting these materials and important information prior to the patient’s appointment, you are creating patient satisfaction while simultaneously improving the efficiency of your process overall.
Topics: Authorizations, customer service, customer satisfaction, Client communication, client services, communications, pediatric behavioral health, rural health, patient accounts, practice management, patient satisfaction, Coronis Health, medical billing, FQHC, Federally Qualified Health Center
Below is an article from NPR regarding instances where Teleheath has become a more popular form of healthcare access for rural health patients. The article gives patient examples of their use of Teleheath, and how if it weren’t for the opportunity to utilize Teleheath they would not have been able to receive care at all. This interesting article sheds light into a potential answer for rural health patients who need healthcare access. With many rural health clinics and hospitals closing, there are few places left for patients to go. In some instances, towns so small and isolated may not have a clinic at all. With Telehealth, those small-town individuals may have an opportunity to seek the care they need from a wide range of specialist and medical professionals from all over the country. Check out the article to learn more about how impactful Teleheath has been on these individuals and their communities.
First, let's define what an EHR system is. An EHR (Electronic Health Record) System is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. One of the best parts of the EHR system is that it allows a patient’s information to be shared across all different types of healthcare settings.