Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How can the billing department increase efficiency

The billing or financial department:

Much of the practice’s income depends on this department. This is the team in the organization that ensures that your money is tracked down and retrieved from the Payers and challenging patients. So how can we assist through technology and how can different solutions enable them to be more efficient.

Easy to look up EOB:

First we will start by implementing an open source OCR product Click here. That’s right 0$ solution that will reduce the look up time of an EOB by at least 50%. A billing staff member can locate a document simply by searching the DOS (Date of service) or simply the patient insurance id and with the results displayed in a Google fashion.

Post patient payments electronically:

Next stop is to reduce or even eliminate the need to manually post payments. Now this solution depends on the organization’s billing system whether the PMS or HIS supports electronic remit (X12N 835 format) or not. This is the format that payers return their EOB. Fortunately that format can be utilized to post patient payments as well that have been made electronically through a web portal or from processed check payments. This dramatically reduces overhead by requiring staff to spend less time doing data entry.

Deposit payments from your office:

Let’s be honest here, checks will be around for few more years, just like when we were told that with Check Cards checks will cease to exist. Well, I am sure checks will continue to survive for a little longer. So, let’s see how we can still be more efficient around them. How about reducing or eliminating the couriers services for check deposits. If you can today deposit a check simply by taking a picture of it through your phone(ImageNet Mobile Deposit(TM)), then medical practices have got to be able to use the remote deposit feature that’s offered with many of today's banks.

Elegability Check:

Ok, if a practice is still not utilizing these services that are offered by most clearing houses, then this is the appropriate time to try them out. It is a very powerful tool, especially when it reduces your claim denials and patient balances that end up going to collections with 20% of your potential revenue.

While there are many additional ways to create efficiencies through out the practice, the billing department is a great place to realize cost savings immediately without major adjustments. Whether you employ claim adjudication, document management or simply outsource statement printing, it is very important to continuously talk to your vendors and stay connected with what is the latest and greatest.. This will ensure that you are constantly evaluating and implementing what matters to your practice.

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