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Medical Billing: How to Gain Ground on Your Collections

May 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 131

In other industries, it's old hat that a good business is worthless without actual sales, but in the medical field, that's been an idea that has gone by the wayside - until now. With more insurers and employers shifting off healthcare costs to patients, and many patients frustrated by the high prices in medical bills, many providers are actually falling behind in terms of collecting money for services provided. What's at work here is a subtle, or not-so-subtle, change in an established system of commerce with more than a few unnecessary complications.

Medical Billing: How it Used to Work

Over the years, as the American health care system moved toward employer-group coverage, providers fell into the habit of only billing the insurer and waiting patiently for contractual payment. It's debatable whether this was ever a good billing practice, but these days, as more of routine medical costs fall to "patient responsibility," it's becoming extremely ineffective. In fact, some doctors are reporting that practices are under severe financial strain for the simple reason that they are not receiving payment for items like periodic checkups, consultations and routine office procedures.

The slow revenue cycle and lack of payment can really hurt a medical office. That's leading doctors to really re-invent the ways that they do business to make sure that they profit from what they are "selling".

Conquering the Bad Revenue Cycle

Some of the best advice that doctors get from outside of the industry comes in the form of "generic" business acumen from established business professionals. Here are some of the main points of this kind of approach to medical office solvency:

  • Up-front collections - get more of routine payments directly from the patient, and allow for reimbursement as applicable
  • Pre-verification - always make sure that insurance is current and in place if an insurer will be picking up the tab
  • Education - educate patients on why they owe for a visit or procedure and why the bill is a certain dollar amount
  • Being proactive - don't just wait to send a bill to collections; follow up with patients
  • Lenience - establish payment plans and other solutions to meet patients halfway

These time-tested tips will help improve the revenue cycle for a practice or clinic. You can also use third party medical billing services to get a new and improved strategy for keeping your doors open. These comprehensive focused services will work to collect patient and insurance payments in a timely manner, using some of the cutting-edge practices that help doctor's offices keep their doors open. As financial pressures affect revenue cycles for medical businesses, it's critical to get the right resources to weather the storm, and to be able to bank on continued payments for the care that the medical team provides.

Ron McLaughlin makes it easy for you to see how your healthcare practice can increase its predictable cash flow. To receive your free, no-obligation FreshLOOK(TM) Review, contact Ron at You'll see just how you can increase your revenue by up to 40% with RMK's all-inclusive medical billing, revenue management, and pre to post collection services.

Source: EzineArticles
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