Did you know that the probability of a patient paying his owed amount reduces by 50% the very second he leaves his provider’s office? This is a figure confirmed by the Medical Group Management Association.
Experts suggest that ICD-10 transition can hit Revenue Management cycles hard! Claim denials and rejections are expected to increase by 200% according to studies by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These figures really question the provider’s ability to manage his revenue cycles.
Follow these simple yet important steps to ensure timely patient collections to avoid disruptions in your cash flows during this revolutionary period in the health care industry.
Transparency-the First Step
Transparency is one of the cornerstones of on time payment collections in the healthcare industry. Let your patients know beforehand the ins and outs of a patient’s healthcare encounter, so that there aren’t any surprises for them at the end of the day which might affect your revenues.
Identify the gaps thoroughly and learn where discrepancies lie in terms of communication. Your patient should know how much the consultation will cost, and through what mediums it is going to be paid so that they can plan for it in advance and smoothly make the payment. There shouldn’t be any blame games; the system should be crystal clear.
Simplify the payment process
Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep the payment process simple and convenient for your payers. In addition to ensuring transparency in the system, make sure that multiple ways are available through which payment can be made at the convenience of your patient.
Options of cash, checks, credit cards and electronic funds transfer should be there to facilitate patients in making their payments. Online payment options also facilitate in collecting data and generating dashboards and reports which helps in further establishing visibility and a lean revenue cycle. Even Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments should be made allowable.
Advanced payment solutions
With the advent of advanced payment solutions, lives of both provider and patients have become easy. Through these the responsibility gets shared between the provider and the patient. Provider can provide estimates of the costs to the patient beforehand so that patients can mentally plan out their payment options. These also help the administrative staff to calculate a patient’s out of pocket costs and further identifies patients with HDHP’s.
These not only help in freeing excessive cash flow but also relieve patients from the stress, over all improving revenue collections. This also further adds to patient’s confidence in the professionalism of the provider and leads to a mutual relationship of trust.
Payment collection during service
Collect payments at the time of service! Yes you heard it right. It’s important because given the changes which ICD-10 will bring in; various providers will face claim denials due to errors in reporting. The account receivable durations will increase. Hence it’s vital that apart from co-payment collection, you take payments from patients at the time of service. Ask for their credit card information on files or provide other payment options whichever suits them the most.
Commitment is mandatory
Revenue cycle management isn’t going to be streamlined on it’s on. You need to understand that it’s not just about revenue anymore, with the fast approaching ICD-10, its altogether like learning a new language or having a 360 degrees cultural shift.
For this, you need to stay focused on every aspect of your RCM, you need to monitor it continuously and eliminate all the non-value adding steps. It’s important to stay updated on all the regulatory changes associated with ICD-10 and the Affordable care act. Know all the policies, guidelines and system changes which are required to make sure you’re in the right direction.
Technology can only facilitate in a smooth transition to ICD-10 and Improvingrevenue cycles, however it alone cannot guarantee success until and unless full commitment is shown on your part. Like they say you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
Download this whitepaper to read more on improving your revenue management cycles.
ICD-10 Conventions and Guidelines from CureMD on Vimeo.