It is a common for doctors with private practices to want to increase their patient volume as it may seem that it leads to higher revenue. This concern with this business practice is that a higher volume of patients also yields higher room for error. Rather than focusing on bringing in more patients, an essential business strategy is to work with the patients that you already have. This not only creates a streamlined process for your current patients, it help you ensure that you are not leaving money on the table with your current claims. Helping your team become skilled and organized will go a long way without increasing your workload.
1 . Consolidate As Many Systems As You Can
If you can find a way to seamlessly integrate your EMR with your payment systems, accounting systems and other financial infrastructure, you’re on your way to good Revenue Cycle Managment that will help in a lot of ways. Needing to transpose data into other formats or systems impedes time and isn’t efficient. You can make financial life easier, simpler and less intrusive by streamlining as much of it as you can into a singular process.
2. Provide Different Payment Methods
If you only have one or two payment methods, you are slowing things down for yourself and potentially making it more difficult for your patients to pay you, even when they do have the money available. Make sure that systems for online payment, medical savings accounts, payment by phone, debit card, credit card and others are available to your patients to use. The more methods you have available, the faster you’ll receive and process those payments.
3. Improve Your Backend
You may not think of it much because RCM systems are in the background, but it pays in efficiency and saved time to make sure that payment management is as efficient as possible. Do you have contingencies for mailed payments and returned mail? If you use a pay-by-phone system, is your collection mechanism up to the task? Make sure that the financial apparatus you have in place to handle the various aspects of RCM are doing the job as efficiently as possible. If anything is complicating your process or slowing you down, revisit and reevaluate.
4. Collect Payments ASAP
Time is money, and the more time you have to process a payment, the more money you can potentially save. If you can, educate your patients, and explain the benefits of paying at the start or just prior to the appointment rather than after an appointment has concluded. Being honest and transparent with your patients about expenses and where their money goes can help this process.
5. Be Patient-centric
While it’s obviously important to have good RCM practices in place to efficiently handle finances, first and foremost, clinics, hospitals and other healthcare providers are about helping people. And as long as you focus on providing quality treatment to your patients and helping them to live healthy lives, you will be working towards the most important cornerstone of RCM, bringing in revenue that needs to be managed. If you’re not providing quality care, if your systems are alienating your patients, then that reduction in revenue is going to hurt far more than not streamlining your RCM enough.
Acumen provides the necessary tools for medical practices to not only survive, but to thrive within their community. We specialize in helping practices become more efficient and profitable and aim to accelerate their growth with proven successes and systems. Contact us today for more information on how to implement these systems into your private practice.