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.
Collecting overdue payment from patients is not easy. And if you’ve developed good doctor-patient relationships, it can be even more difficult, especially when unexpected charges or more-expensive-than-expected ones put them in a financial bind.
Topics: patient collections
Medical billers must have a comprehensive knowledge of various aspects of physician practice management. They must know billing and coding as well as explain the costs of medical treatment to a patient in person. They must also know Medicare/Medicaid regulations, HIPAA, and other complex state/federal guidelines, insurance requirements, and more.
The revenue cycle management market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.2 percent from 2014 to 2019, and it is one of the functions healthcare providers outsource the most, according to a recent report from MicroMarket Monitor.
Many practices use an automated system for sending appointment reminders. You’re already paying for the service and the call, so why not maximize its value to your practice? Here’s some small changes to your appointment reminders that can yield big results.
HIPAA AND THE TCPA
Did you know that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and HIPAA go hand in hand?
It might not be easy to implement, but some physician practices are guaranteeing patients same-day appointments in order to compete with a growing number of retail clinics, urgent care clinics and telemedicine services.
Have you Googled your practice or providers lately? Chances are your patients have, and when they did, they were likely inundated with cost and quality ratings to aid them in their decision making as healthcare consumers. Going forward, information and reputation management are an increasingly important part of the job. What’s out there? What does it mean to me? What can I do about it? And how are our patients/consumers going to use this information?
2018 is the second year of transition in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). If you are required to report data for 2018 and fail to do so, you’ll receive a 5% reduction in Medicare payments in 2020. In fact, unless you are participating in a Medicare Alternative Payment Model, the only way to receive any payment increase between 2019 and 2020 is to score more than 15 points in the MIPS Program. Unlike the first program year, you’ll need to get started early in the year to ensure success. Here are the key changes that will influence your score in 2018: