As the healthcare industry continues to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, providers across the country will have to also deal with the beginning of fall and winter: aka, busy season. More common illnesses like the cold and flu will start to spread, which will most likely increase the need for testing and worsen the load of a clinic that’s performing those tests. Whether or not your clinic does those tests, it could still put a damper on your day-to-day scheduling and billing as contagious diseases potentially comes in and out of your office.
For everyone’s safety, most clinics have been testing the patient for COVID-19 before going through with a procedure or they will move ahead while acting as if the patient had COVID-19 for safety. Clinics should have a clear procedure in place on where they perform and send their tests. Additionally, clinics should put together a form that patients will sign and agree to that acknowledge the risks or having a procedure in the current pandemic. This will help protect your clinic legally in the effect that an outbreak does occur.
For clinics who will be taking on the task of COVID-19 testing, they will need to do their best to prepare for the influx. Some good ways to do this are:
- Ensuring all staff are informed on your procedure with dealing with patients coming in for a COVID-19 test or even patients that arrive for an appointment with visible signs of an illness.
- Addressing issues you’ve been having previously whether it’s for documentation or software you use. Efficiency is key during the busy season.
- Keeping your patients informed on any procedure changes such as mandatory masks, limited waiting room capacity, and other safety needs. This can be done through communication features on your software, emails, or text alerts.
- Following up on any late claims. As your billing team gets busier, those late claims could get lost in the workload or follow-up procedures get forgotten. Maintaining digital communication and payments will make it easier for patients to pay on-time.
On a billing note, your billing team should always be aware of how insurances are currently accepting COVID-19 tests and whether or not they are covered. A continued education on industry changes, COVID-19 testing, and medical codes will help inform billers for the benefit of your clinic’s revenue. If your clinic has been struggling with their software or billing even before busy season hits, then Outsource Receivables Inc. can help you get back on track. Contact us to learn more.