As the New Year is fast approaching, it is very important to clean up your account receivables (A/R) to improve your medical billing and coding process and increase year-end collections. This will also help you refresh the records for the coming year, keep the records ready for the tax season and ensure that your cash flow stays manageable. A thorough A/R analysis is vital to make a decision regarding whether to continue to chase older claims or make necessary adjustments and move on. Errors in claims can also be resolved through this analysis. If you prefer to have some support in this regard, you can easily request the required services from a reputable medical billing company.
Prepare for a Smooth Medical Billing Process
- Get Rid of Old Data – If your billing system still contains the data of patients who left your practice long ago, then you should purge such data. Patient data that is not kept up-to-date can easily get outdated and out of control. Have your staffs ask visitors to verify their patient information and insurance card data during each visit and make system updates immediately so that you can understand which data needs to be purged.
- Collect from Patients with Payment Balances – When patients with payment balance request their bill at the end of an encounter without paying during each visit, balances get accumulated to a huge amount and you may find it difficult to retrieve them. Collect these balances on the date of service and remove that from your to-do lists. Establish a system in which the administrator checks for the next day’s appointments for existing balances before making reminder calls or sending confirmation emails and notify patients with balances that they will be expected to make the payment when they make the visit.
- Track Collections – By tracking collections, you will have an idea regarding the accounts that are worth chasing and the ones that are not. Create reports that track your collections. Though preparing these reports is time-consuming, it can help you better trace issues in the future including unpaid claims, aging by payer class and payer performance.
- Sending Billing Receipts – Try to send billing receipts to patients in real time. It is easy to do that with efficient coding software and electronic health records.
When conducting an A/R review, if you find your claims are not being followed up on as often as you’d like, you can take the following steps after consulting with the billing department.
- If the claims are being denied even after being followed up on, it is better to introduce some more claims follow-up training.
- If a specific payer is consistently denying your claims, check out the reason why.
- If it is found that the claims are going out without a referring physician or correct policy number, address that issue immediately to avoid problems in the claims scrubbing department.
Make Adjustments to Avoid Controllable Errors
Sometimes you may have to make several adjustments because of controllable errors such as:
- A clinic error that includes exceeding insurance limits
- No authorization for a specific date of service
- Using codes that are not authorized by an insurance company
- Insurance expired before the patient’s visit
- Not collecting co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles at the time of service
- Chart notes not available for a specific date of service
- Delivering care for a patient with insurance that you do not accept
You should identify why A/R is being generated to create a process that can ensure timely collection of the revenue due to you and steady cash flow. Reliable medical billing and coding services can help you clean up your A/R for the coming year, and streamline your entire revenue management cycle.