Medical Financial Services

01
Nov
2013

BEST PRACTICES FOR REDUCING PATIENT NO SHOWS

In today’s health care environment patients have more responsibility for paying their medical bills. In the new environment, patients are responsible for paying higher copays and have high deductibles. With the decrease in reimbursements from the insurance companies, medical practices must run a tight schedule in order to maximize the revenue that they generate. An important aspect of practice management is to ensure that patients show up for their scheduled visits. It is not uncommon for patients to not show up for their visits without providing notice to the medical practice. A no show from a patient means a loss of revenue that can be important to the financial well-being of the practice. Moreover, a patient no show prevents the medical practice from collecting copays from patients and sending a claim to the insurance company.

In order to reduce patient no-show, medical practice must put in place a process to discourage patient from missing scheduled appointments. This process can be broken down into four simple steps.

The first step in the process is for the medical practice to develop a patient no show policy and make patients aware of it. The practice must make an effort to stick to the rules in the no show policy at all times to ensure that patient no shows are minimized. The patient no show policy should be as simple as having rules for cancellations, missed appointments.

The second step in the process is for the practice to communicate the no show policy with its patients. The no show policy should documented the practice’s policy regarding no shows along with consequences of missed appointment. Some practices charge a certain amount for missed appointments. The policy is to be reviewed and signed by the patient. Patients must provide enough notice to the practice if they need to cancel an appointment.

The third step in the process is for the practice to make calls to patients scheduled to be seen 24 hours before their scheduled appointment. Calls can help catch cancellations giving the medical practice enough time to schedule the cancelled slot with another patient.

The fourth and final step in the process is to communicate with patients that failed to show for their appointment. Communicating with patient that have missed appointments helps build rapport and trust. At the same time, it allows the practice to check any unusual situations behind the appointment have been missed.

It is important that practices communicate with their patient the importance of showing up or making arrangements in the case that an appointment needs to be missed. Opening a dialog with patients regarding the importance of showing up will improve a practice’s bottom line.

To recap, some best practices for preventing no shows are:

1. Develop a no show policy and make patients aware of it.
2. Communicate the no show policy to all patients.
3. Make appointment reminder calls to all patients 24 hours before their appointment.
4. Communicate with patients that fail to show up for their scheduled appointments.

At Vitruvian MedPro Consulting, we are more than medical billers. We are certified medical reimbursement specialists by the American Medical Billing Association. We can help medical practices at any stage of the revenue cycle management process. Our goal is to help medical practices improve cash flow and focus on patient care.

Please visit our medical billing page to learn more about our services at: Medical Billing Services

We are currently offering a free practice analysis to help medical practitioners determine whether it makes sense to outsource their billing. Gives us a call at 781-454-7406 and schedule your free demo.

At Vitruvian MedPro, a Brookline, Massachusetts medical billing and practice management company, we work with independently owned medical practices on any aspect of their revenue cycle management. Besides medical billing, we help medical practices with their coding, account receivables and HIPAA compliance. We make sure that practices receive the highest reimbursements from the insurance companies.

26
Sep
2013

THE MEDICAL BILLING PROCESS NEEDS A GOOD PATIENT COLLECTION SYSTEM

Medical Billing is one of the most important functions of a medical practice. Medical Billing is part of the revenue cycle management process of a practice. So, medical billing is much more than submitting claims to insurance companies and waiting to be paid for those claims. The revenue cycle management of a medical practice is a complex process that involves: insurance verification, patient demographic entry, medical coding, charge entry, claims submission, payment posting, patient collections, denial management and reporting. In order to ensure financial success, medical practices must put in place a solid revenue cycle process. Putting in place the steps that the practice staff needs to ensure that every step of the revenue cycle management process is worked will save the medical practice money and will increase revenue in the long run.

At the center of the revenue cycle management process, is patient collections. Current trends in medical insurance are putting more responsibility on patients due to higher co-pays and higher deductibles which patients are responsible for. Also, patients that have no health insurance are responsible for paying the medical services they receive. A good patient collections process will make the revenue cycle management process runs smoothly. Moreover, having a good patient collections process will ensure that the medical practice gets the money patients are responsible to pay.

One of the best practices that medical practices should implement is to set patient collection expectations up front before the patient gets seen or during the patient’s visit. Not discussing patient collection responsibilities up front can damage the relationship between the medical practice and the patient when a bill is sent to the patient after the visit. It is not uncommon for patients to dispute and fight a medical bill when they are not made aware of their responsibilities up front. Sharing patient payment responsibilities up front will set ground rules and will make patients be aware of their responsibilities after they receive care.

Medical practices must make sure that they obtain patient insurance coverage and eligibility before the patient shows up for a visit. Providing patients with the copay and deductible responsibilities will set payment expectations up front and will prepare the patient to receive statements from the practice. A good practice management system can provide eligibility and coverage information to the practice on the spot saving the practice staff time from calling the patient’s insurance company. Ass an added benefit to the practice processes, a printed copy of the insurance coverage and eligibility information can be provided to patients from the get go as a way to engage them in the collection process.

Medical practices must also make sure that once patients are aware of their coverage and eligibility benefits, they collect patient co-payments at the time the patient walks in for a visit. It is good practice to let patients know in advance how much they will be expected to pay when they come in for a visit and how much they will be expected to pay after the insurance processes the claim.

To conclude, in order to improve their patient collections, medical practices should:

1. Educate and guide patients on their insurance coverage and eligibility.
2. Inform patients of their financial responsibilities at the time of check-in, prior to coming to a visit or when booking the next visit.
3. Make sure that your practice has an up to date practice management system that will allow you to check benefits and track patient balances.

At Vitruvian MedPro Consulting, we are more than medical billers. We are certified medical reimbursement specialists by the American Medical Billing Association. We can help medical practices at any stage of the revenue cycle management process. Our goal is to help medical practices improve cash flow and focus on patient care.

Please visit our medical billing page to learn more about our services at: Medical Billing Services

We are currently offering a free practice analysis to help medical practitioners determine whether it makes sense to outsource their billing. Gives us a call at 781-454-7406 and schedule your free demo.

At Vitruvian MedPro, a Brookline, Massachusetts medical billing and practice management company, we work with independently owned medical practices on any aspect of their revenue cycle management. Besides medical billing, we help medical practices with their coding, account receivables and HIPAA compliance. We make sure that practices receive the highest reimbursements from the insurance companies.

29
Aug
2013

SHOULD A MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL PRACTICE OUTSOURCE ITS BILLING

Many practice managers and medical providers do not like to hear the work “outsource” when it comes to their medical billing. One of the main concerns with outsourcing is about losing control and having to let practice staff go. However, many medical practices find themselves overwhelmed with their day to day operations and experience issues with their billing and patient collections. In cases where the medical practices is not receiving the reimbursements they should be receiving from the insurance companies and are falling behind with their collections, outsourcing their medical billing may be the way to go.

With today’s advances in technology, outsourcing does not mean losing any control over the practice billing. Medical billing companies can offer medical practices real time access to their practice management systems providing a practice managers and medical providers instant access to their data. Medical billing companies can also use the medical practice’s EMR billing module to do the billing for the practice.

At Vitruvian MedPro, a Massachusetts medical billing company and practice management consulting company, we offer a cloud based solution that allows medical practices real time access to their data from any computer with internet access. At the same time, we partner with our clients and maintain constant communication with the daily activities related to medical claim submission and patient collection.

Medical practices that outsource their billing can focus their time on providing top notch patient care and on growing the practice. Also, by outsourcing practices do not have to worry about costs associated with maintain a practice management system and dealing with the technology issues associated with running a billing department.

A recent Medical Group Management Association survey showed that medical practices that outsource their billing to medical billing companies typically see improved performance across multiple dimensions. The survey focused on practices that outsource their medical billing functions. The survey reported the following results for practices that switched from doing their medical billing in-house billing to outsourcing to a medical billing company:

– 73% saw a reduction in their A/R
– 73% realized higher collections
– 59% decreased the volume of lost/denied claims
– 59% enjoyed significantly better reporting and practice performance insights
– 46% achieved higher staff productivity

The breadth of the performance improvements uncovered by the MGMA survey (with three-quarters of all practices seeing sizable performance improvements) adds fact-based credibility to the notion that a well-selected and highly-qualified medical billing company provides substantial performance improvement for medical practices. Our average clients enjoy a 15 to 25 percent increase in collections while noticing that their A/R time drops below 35 days.

A copy of this survey is available from the MGMA’s website at www.mgma.com

At Vitruvian MedPro Consulting, we are more than medical billers. We are certified medical reimbursement specialists by the American Medical Billing Association. We can help medical practices at any stage of the revenue cycle management process. Our goal is to help medical practices improve cash flow and focus on patient care.

Please visit our medical billing page to learn more about our services at: Medical Billing Services

We are currently offering a free practice analysis to help medical practitioners determine whether it makes sense to outsource their billing. Gives us a call at 781-454-7406 and schedule your free demo.

At Vitruvian MedPro, a Brookline, Massachusetts medical billing and practice management company, we work with independently owned medical practices on any aspect of their revenue cycle management. Besides medical billing, we help medical practices with their coding, account receivables and HIPAA compliance. We make sure that practices receive the highest reimbursements from the insurance companies.

01
Aug
2013

MAKING SENSE OF OUTSOURCING MEDICAL BILLING

All the changes that are happening in the healthcare industry in the next few years will challenge the way medical practices operate. Physicians are going to be pressed to see more patients with the new influx of patients that will come into the health care system with Obamacare (this is if Obamacare was to be fully implemented).

Doctors main focus is patient care and not running the business side of their practice. If Obamacare was to be fully implemented, doctors and their staff will be facing the challenge of having to provide care to more patients and keep up with all the changes that are taking place on the business side. All the changes in coding and billing represent a challenge for medical practices. It is now more important than ever for medical practices to focus more on patient care and not on how to collect their money. At Vitruvian MedPro, we help doctors focus on helping their patients and leave the billing side of the business to us. We work with insurance companies and government agencies on a daily basis and strive to make sure that our clients receive their due reimbursements. Trying to keep up with the business of providing care is hard enough. Keeping up with all the revenue cycle management side of the business should be left to the experts.

Health Care Providers that are striving to stay independent and not become part of a hospital or become a part of a larger practice are facing the need to cut costs while building and maintaining the patients that they see. Independent providers that have given into selling their practices realize that they lose control of their independence and don’t enjoy being told what to do. For those physicians that want to stay independent and succeed, outsourcing their medical billing makes sense. But outsourcing, doctors are able to focus on providing care and growing their practice. Outsourcing billing companies like Vitruvian MedPro, charge the doctor a percentage of the money that is actually collected. If the doctor does not get paid for claim, the doctor will not receive a bill for that claim. At Vitruvian MedPro, we get paid only after the doctor gets paid.

With the looming shortage of doctors across all specialties, doctors will be facing an influx of new patients into their practice. If doctors and their staff will need to spend all their time taking care of patients, outsourcing makes sense. With additional influx of patients, medical practices will have less time to spend on the revenue cycle management side of the business. Outsourcing the business side of the practice to a company that keeps up with all the changes in coding and billing interacts with insurance companies and Medicare and Medicaid on a daily basis.

At Vitruvian MedPro Consulting, we are more than medical billers. We are certified medical reimbursement specialists by the American Medical Billing Association. We can help medical practices at any stage of the revenue cycle management process. Our goal is to help medical practices improve cash flow and focus on patient care.

Please visit our medical billing page to learn more about our iClaim services at: Medical Billing Services

We are currently offering a free practice analysis to help medical practitioners determine whether it makes sense to outsource their billing. Gives us a call at 781-454-7406 and schedule your free demo.

At Vitruvian MedPro, a Brookline, Massachusetts revenue cycle management company, we work with medical practices of all sizes with any aspect of their revenue cycle management. Besides billing, we can help practices with their coding, account receivables and make sure that practices receive the highest reimbursements from the insurance companies.