Efficiency in medical billing doesn’t just require expert billers. It also relies on a solid process that begins when a new patient first steps into the office and continues throughout the entire time they make appointments at your clinic. Essential information needs to be recorded, and follow-up procedures need to be implemented. Overall, here are the tasks needed for a smooth billing cycle.

New patient process. One of the most important steps when onboarding a new patient is collecting relevant information like their address, phone number, email, photo ID, and insurance policy. To make sure it’s all correct, have the patient confirm the information before they head into their appointment on a form. Inaccurate information on billing could cause it to be delayed or denied, which just creates more issues for the billing team.

Verify information every appointment. As the patient continues to visit your office, confirm their information when they check-in for their appointment. Getting an updated policy number is especially important so your clinic can be properly reimbursed for their services. For collecting payments, you’ll need to know their updated address and contact information if it has changed.

Ask for best way to contact and when. If the patient prefers to be contacted by phone rather than text, for example, then you want to respect their preferences. Plus, the patient will feel more heard and appreciated by your team.

Send out letters. Even if they prefer digital contact, physical letters often hold more weight and importance when you’re sending out reminders. Have a system in place to send letters out for when their bill is coming due soon, when it’s overdue, and when it is about to be sent to collections.

Collect co-pays. When a patient comes in for an appointment, check to see if have any outstanding payments and ask for collection up front. If they’ve got copays to pay after the appointment, then you should also collect that up front to avoid having to chase them down later.

Offer payment options. Have the staff trained in what they offer for payment options. Some offices, for example, do not take checks anymore so they only accept card and cash. Staff should also know which payment plans are available and then walk the patient through it so they know exactly what it entails.

A medical team that falls behind on the billing process, from front desk staff to billers, will start to affect a clinic’s bottom line. Contact the experts at Outsource Receivables Inc. to see where your specialty clinic can improve with better workflow and/or outsourced billing.

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