Patient billing at healthcare centers may seem like a trivial process, but the truth is, it’s complicated. It is easy to overlook the finer points of this process, which, unfortunately, often results in unfortunate disputes with patients. Billing oversights in clinics are never deliberate; you may not have an employee specifically assigned this task. Even if you do, it is easy for them to become overwhelmed as it is an involved process, and there are bound to be days when traffic is high.
If the billing process were made more efficient, your clerical staff would be able to pay more considerable attention to individual patients, ensuring no issue slips between the cracks. The quality of care patients receive will always be better when your staff has more time to focus on each patient.
Signs of Slow, Inefficient Billing
There are telltale signs that will alert you, as the owner of your private practice, to automate your billing procedure. First, and most concerning, is long queues of patients waiting to be processed. It’s hard enough to be suffering from whatever ailment your patients are coming to see you for. Detaining them for hours due to administrative inefficiencies adds insult to injury, quite literally. It would be best if you took such signs seriously as they may result in negative reviews of your practice and impinge on the chances of patients recommending your services.
Additionally, inefficient billing pronounces itself in your staff’s ability to carry out their tasks. If you realize that your staff is making billing errors more frequently than usual, it’s high time for you to review your processes. Your employees appearing stressed out and overwhelmed is another glaring indicator that you need to optimize your billing system.
Implement and Optimize NextGen Enterprise PM
Applying automation to your practice to optimize the billing cycle and reduce paperwork is one way to curb billing inefficiencies and their unpleasant consequences. You can do this by adopting one of the cloud-based solutions currently in the market, NextGen Enterprise PM. This platform allows you to register patients, confirm financial responsibility, prepare and transmit claims, and generate patient statements electronically. It will enable you to serve patients more efficiently by verifying patient eligibility in real-time. Patient data is relayed electronically between the biller and the payer, reducing the delays and possible errors that arise during this process when done manually.
By submitting claims to insurance companies electronically instead of manually, claims can be settled faster, and your staff can be freed up to focus on serving patients. You also reduce the probability of a claim getting denied when it is prepared more accurately. NextGen Enterprise PM allows you to scrub and edit claims before transmitting them to ensure only clean claims that have been thoroughly scrutinized are sent to insurers.
Another benefit of an Enterprise PM is it can optimize your practice’s operations by allowing you to precheck a patient’s eligibility for specific procedures under their cover. This can be done by collecting their personal and insurance info before they make their first visit. In this way, you can forestall unpaid bills and their upsetting aftermath.
Introduce Billing Staff Augmentation
Due to the skills required and the sheer amount of work billing involves, practices will often opt to have a dedicated staff member to handle this area while others focus on providing care. However, this creates a potential bottleneck or single point of failure. What happens if your biller is unavailable due to illness, or is away on maternity leave? Or leaves after getting a better offer from a competitor?
On the other hand, a sudden influx of patients, such as during the flu season, may leave your biller overwhelmed. Billing staff augmentation allows you to get a biller to stand in for your biller when they’re unavailable, or support them when they have too much on their plate. Click here to learn more about NextGen medical billing software and staff augmentation.
Your Wisest Investment
Your patients know you for providing them with excellent care, and they will readily recommend your practice if even their billing is handled efficiently. Also, if you’re yet to face any such challenge, it is wise to begin streamlining your patient registration and billing to leave no room for potential errors or unnecessary delays. An investment in automation and optimization of these processes may be a dent on your budget today, but it is insurance against future dissatisfaction and subsequent revenue loss.