Over the last several months, practices across the board have seen significant declines in patient volume and, subsequently, revenue. Even as states start to slowly reopen and return to normalcy, patient volume is still anticipated to be much lower than before the coronavirus pandemic. The good news is that there are still ways to accelerate your cash flow and generate new revenue. We’re here to give you five tips for accelerating your cash flow. Not only will this help you prevent lost revenue during COVID-19, it can be applied under ordinary circumstances too.
Don’t Forget the Front End
Seeing fewer patients does not eliminate the need to use the processes to determine eligibility, payer policy, and bad information. Carefully analyze your denial trends to identify and address any that may occur on the front end. Take advantage of your decreased patient volume to tighten up intake, authorization, referral and eligibility functions too.
Be Strategic with your A/R
Identify the quick hits in your A/R and ask yourself the following: are the large numbers of claims all pending for the same reason or for the same payer? Identify the root cause that might resolve multiple claims and determine if these claims can be batched or resubmitted. We suggest exporting your AR into an analytic tool that allows you to cut and filter the data to identify trends and groups of claims with similar problems. In addition, target payers with self-serve options to reduce time and attack high dollar claims first such as workers comp claims and surgery cases.
Remember Patient Balances
First, be sensitive to any disruptions and hardships your patients are facing and be prepared to offer them flexibility and options. Leverage mobile solutions and self-service technologies such as SMS, patient portals, and IVR. In terms of options, offer flexible payment terms and incentives for paying quickly such as prompt pay discounts. Make communication and information access easy. This includes easy access to your call center, something critical for capturing payments. Ensure that patients know your hours of operations, availability, and wait times. Focusing on and enhancing patient experience will translate into more payments.
Collaborate and reallocate
Start by ensuring department leads are collaborating with your A/R team and that they’re working together to resolve identified claims. To assist with the workload, reallocate resources from other departments such as authorization and coding to assist in the process. Bulking up your A/R team with extra expertise means that questions will get answered quickly and claims will be resolved faster. In addition, Coders are a tremendous resource when it comes to appeals and reviews that may be needed to resolve more complex claims.
Track Touches and Success Rate
Productivity and quality standards should be tied to incentives and then you measure them regularly. Touches alone will not give you a complete picture. You should also measure the success rate of claims worked. For example, what percentage are getting paid after one touch, two touches or more? Make sure you have a tracking system, such as claim notes that allows you to sort by user and then quality check.
We are here to help and support you so your cash flow doesn’t suffer. All of our teams are fully functional and well-integrated. On one final note, we strongly encourage you to embrace telemedicine if you haven’t already. The way providers and patients interact is forever changed. It’s clear that the barriers to widespread telemedicine adaptation are no longer really there. Video conferencing is going to replace a significant amount of in-person face to face meetings. This will enable you to keep on seeing patients, providing billable services, and remain eligible for reimbursements. You can check out free information around telemedicine, including guidelines for billing and coding, on our Telemedicine Resources Page.