Revenue cycle management may have an official sounding name, but really it is a complicated term that means that there are clear steps taken to ensure payment is timely for services provided.
The revenue cycle begins when the patient calls and schedules an appointment. The cycle comes to an end when the patient completes their appointment and payment is received in full.
Gathering Data Before the Appointment
Some clinics have complained that they simply do not have the time to take patient insurance information during the initial call. Not doing this is the first pitfall of revenue cycle management. Everyone wants to be sure that payment will be received. By taking and checking patient insurance information during the initial call, you can make sure that the information is correct and the insurance is valid.
Pre-visit insurance verification is the first defense a clinic has to ensure that they get all the funds owed to them. Without this step, clinics open themselves up to a much larger chance of payment failures.
Some will argue that their staff does not have the time to double check all the patient insurance information, but there is a quick and effective way to do this without eating up dozens of man-hours. The list of the day’s patients can be sent by electronic file to a clearinghouse. They will be able to verify if the patient’s information is valid, leaving the staff to their daily duties.
Without having 100% accurate patient information, the second step becomes even more flawed. Getting the proper charged posted is the second step in revenue cycle management. Posting the charge with the proper diagnosis code is essential.
Some clinics and practices are known for holding their charge clips for at least two days. They are known to do this to ensure that there are no missed charges, but that can delay final billing for at least 48-hours. Most of the time, clinics have an automated crosschecking process to ensure there are no missing charges. Holding on to charges for any longer than a workday is completely unnecessary.
By making the clinic more automated, revenue cycle management will be enhanced and quickened by electronic payment posting. This will save time and money, giving your staff more time to help other patients or as needed around the office. By automating all billing functions that do not require an expert’s hand, the experts are able to concentrate on communicating with patients.
One of the newest forms of payment has come along with the Internet, online bill payment. This leaves the information up to the patient and allows them to pay without ever needing to hassle with paperwork at the office.
All of these ideas will help your practice or clinic successfully complete revenue cycle after revenue cycle without flaw or missed charge. There is no single answer that can make sure all of your patients pay in a timely manner, but you can do everything possible to ensure that it is.