Believe it or not, 2021 will be here in a few months, which makes it the perfect time to plan a fresh start in the new year. To do this, many clinics like to focus on working their open billing and taking care of any outstanding balances. The cold season is a busy time for many medical offices, and they can get even further behind on their billing if the team can’t keep up. Then, once the holidays roll around, your staff comes back from their time off to the stress of aging accounts. To avoid that, how can clinics catch up on their aging accounts?
Collect from reoccurring patients with payment balances.
Whether your patients owes money at the end of their appointment or has growing balance, the front staff should be prepared to collect from them. Before their appointment, let them know the amount they owe and any tools you have to collect that payment such as online payment. If they have outstanding payments, then the clinic’s system should inform the front desk so they can notify the patients that they will be expected to pay when they arrive at the office. For some clinics, they find a system of reviewing the next day’s appointment and any patients who have balances, most effective. There should be procedures in place to ensure the front staff knows how to deal with these situations and how to be firm on collecting payments.
Review your yearly collections.
Where did your clinic struggle with billing this year? Was there an increase in denied claims due to billing errors? Are patients failing to pay on time due to inadequate reminders? What issues caused your current outstanding A/R accounts? By reviewing these routinely, clinics can catch their mistakes and adjust as needed so they can hopefully improve for the new year. Then, once you’ve started the year off fresh, you can improve your overall revenue.
If your review reveals that your billing team isn’t up to the task, then it might be the year of looking into outsourced billing. In most cases, clinics will save money by outsourcing rather than keeping it in-house.
Develop and maintain a new system.
If your reports reveal a large problem with your current procedures, then implement new ones. Ensure the billing team submits their claims correctly and in a timely manner by staying up-to-date on billing changes and codes. If possible, they should aim to submit the claim either the day of the appointment or in one business day to ensure a quick revenue cycle. If the problems occurred because patients were not properly informed of how their bills work, then have front staff trained on how to communicate with patients. Adapting to the problem and creating a solution will improve your overall revenue.
Is your clinic prepared to start the new year off right? If you’ve tried to resolve these issues or are do not feel up to the task of your current aging accounts, then it’s probably time to call in some experts. Our medical billing specialists can work with your clinic to ensure you will begin 2021 successfully. Give us a call to learn more.