Maximizing Patient Collections: Tips On Your Patient’s Perspective

Maximizing Patient Collections Tips On Your Patient’s Perspective.jpg

Maximizing patient collections at the time of service is a must in today’s changing healthcare landscape. Why? Many more patients are now responsible for their own healthcare expenses and statistics show the ability to collect after a patient leaves your office drops significantly.

In fact, a large percentage of patients that have left your office without paying, may never pay — but don’t despair. There are some things that your practice can do to improve collections at the time of service.

[ Related Article: Tips To Improve Patient Collections ]

Information collected by MGMA reports, “30% of patients walk out of your practice’s door without paying a dime.” When you realize the impact this may have on your total revenue, it might be time to rethink patient collections, enlist some help and implement a few new best practices.

Maximizing patient collections: Viewing From a Patient Perspective

As the shift in patient mindset leans gradually greater to that of consumer, making sure that your patients are satisfied and happy will help your office collect for services rendered.

Think about it this way: there are many services that people will willingly pay for and are happy to pay for if they believe it helps improve their quality of life — such is the case with the physical therapy services your office provides. In the same regard, if someone is unhappy with the services received, they are less likely to pay for it.

[ Related Article: A Growing Trend In Patient Care: Consumerism ]

Also, what is said, or is left unsaid, can impact the revenue your physical therapy practice is able to generate. In today’s world of technology at our fingertips and transparency being demanded in every industry, the world of healthcare is no different. Patients can share their experience online in minutes, on any number of review sites, and their experience — whether good or bad — will have an impact on other patients’ opinions and experiences of your practice as well.

Improving the patient experience and level of quality of care received to the best of your office’s ability will go a long way in helping your patient become not only healthy, but happy too! And help your physical therapy practice generate payment for services rendered.

For an expert team on your side to help boost your physical therapy practice’s revenue, contact us today. Contact Billing helps improve claim auditing/CCI Edits, validating ICD-9 vs CPT codes and adjusting modifiers to help you decrease rejected claims and increase amounts collected.

Growing Trends In Patient Care: Consumerism

Growing Trends In Patient Care

Among growing trends in patient care is a shift in patient mindset to consumerism. Why is consumerism rising in healthcare?

In the past, it was more commonly the case that the healthcare plan was provider by an employer. Of course this may still be the case for many, but the rise of high deductible health care plans over the last few years has made that less common.

With the changing healthcare regulations, more and more plans have become high deductible health care plans, and more and more patients are having to find ways to cover their healthcare expenses — making them much more involved in their care and decision making processes along the way.

Along with patients incurring more out-of-pocket expense than ever before, they also expect a change in their quality of service. This means patients are beginning to feel more like consumers in the healthcare marketplace and expect services they receive to match.

Growing Trends In Patient Care: Consumerism & Understanding Your Patient

With that, comes a shift in the mindset of the patient. It shifts from “healthcare providers have my best interest in mind” to “I’m paying a lot out of pocket and the level of service I receive should correspond to that.”

So what are some things that your physical therapy practice can do to adapt to this growing trend in patient care of consumerism in healthcare?

Improving UX (user experience)

Typically a term referred to in the tech world, the UX, or user experience makes all the difference when it comes to patient perceptions. In the world of social media, reviews and online reputation management, creating an excellent “user experience” is even more imperative.

Instant Gratification

If you offer same day or next appointments, you’ll serve the growing consumer mindset of instant gratification. Yes, this is healthcare — but the patient mindset is changing and with that, so should the services your office offers to better serve their needs.

Understanding Your Patient’s Role In Care

Patients read, research and write reviews of the services they’ve received. They want to know as much as they can up front and want providers to be transparent with costs and care options. They want to make informed decisions and they take the time to do the research they need to, to make those decisions.

Typically, the healthcare landscape has been a confusing place for patients. If you are a physical therapy outpatient provider adapting to growing trends in patient care by, improving the patient experience, satisfying their requirement for fast service, and helping them play an active role in their own care by giving them the information they need, will help your patient navigate these muddy waters and raise your level of service in their eyes.

If you are looking for a physical therapy billing provider to partner with you as your office makes the transition to accommodate the growing trends of consumerism in healthcare today, contact us. At Contact Billing we work hard to keep up to date on the latest coding and billing changes so that you can focus on what matter most: excellent patient care.

Factors Impacting Your Physical Therapy Revenue Cycle

 factors impacting your physical therapy revenue cycle

How many factors impacting your physical therapy revenue cycle are within your control? Maybe more than you think. Developing systems and policies, putting these in place and training your staff for compliance, all will help improve the efficiency of your physical therapy revenue cycle and bring more dollars through your door.

Why is this important? If your heart is in patient care, developing a thriving business allows you to care for more patients for a longer period of time. In other words, if you can’t keep the doors open, you can no longer help your patients. This is why revenue cycle management (RCM) is key for physical therapy offices and outpatient rehabilitation providers.

Efficient RCM is more important now than ever. Patients are increasingly using high-deductible health plans and thus footing the bill for more of their care than ever before. Patient education and emphasizing the importance of the patient’s responsibility for payment of their care will certainly impact the bottom line of your business.

This, however, isn’t the only factor. There are several factors that can impact your revenue cycle. RCM begins at the time the patient first makes contact with your practice, and ends when their bill is paid in full. Therefore, filling in the gaps of all of the in-betweens will help to improve the efficiency of your RCM and help keep money from slipping through your fingers — so to speak.

Here are 8 factors impacting your physical therapy revenue cycle:

  • Accuracy and completeness of patient information
  • Staff training
  • Clinical documentation
  • Proper/improper coding
  • Patient cooperation & financial responsibility
  • Timely and accurate billing
  • Clean claims
  • Collections

[ Related Article: Tips To Improve Patient Collections ]

The goal of any revenue cycle is to help increase practice revenue, speed up your business’ cash flow and reduce claim errors and costs associated with managing claims.

At Contact Billing, we audit claims and validate ICD-10 and CPT codes in preparation for submission to help eliminate errors. Catching errors early on will prevent them from becoming costlier errors later on in the revenue cycle.

Partnering with a physical therapy billing service or outpatient rehabilitation billing company can help to tighten up your revenue cycle, keep things running smoothly and help you care for more patients for many years to come. To get started, contact us today.

Advantages Of Hiring A Physical Therapy Billing Service

advantages of hiring a physical therapy billing service

Considering the advantages of hiring a physical therapy billing service? No doubt, there are many benefits to both handling billing in-house as well as outsourcing. If you are currently managing billing services in-house, you have more control over the billing process. However, you also are putting your business at risk for more liability as well.

Staff members juggling multiple duties can find themselves trying to balance other tasks with billing services. This can increase the risk of billing errors or slow down turnaround time.

Keeping billing services in-house also means a commitment to staying on top of billing and coding changes and updates. It can also require additional time, expensive software, computers and additional staff, which also means paying out additional salary and benefits.

Deciding to hire a physical therapy billing service can decrease your liability risk and increase the amount of money coming into your practice affecting the bottom line. Plus, there are many other advantages as well.

Advantages of Hiring A Physical Therapy Billing Service

Dedication to staying up-to-date on latest coding changes

We stay up to date on the latest coding changes so that you don’t have to. This frees you up to do what you do best: managing your practice and providing excellent patient care. Having someone dedicated to learning the latest coding changes, means less chance for errors in the billing process.

Focused and experienced in the field

Having a billing service with experience in your industry can make all the difference when it comes to billing success. Someone that is familiar with services provided for physical therapy, will know to submit all possible codes for billing that your practice would be entitled to for service.

Less overhead

While there are costs associated with hiring a billing service, those costs can often be dramatically less than taking on the costs associated with keeping billing in-house. Keeping billing services in-house also means paying out additional salary, benefits, costs of education to stay on top of coding updates and regulations, as well as equipment and software needed for the services.

Allows you to focus on what you do best

Outsourcing your billing services allows you to focus on doing what you do best: providing excellent patient care. You have enough on your plate managing your practice, managing your staff and caring for patients. Allow a physical therapy billing service, like Contact Billing to assist you with the rest.

Streamlined billing operations

We have developed a physical therapy billing service that works and have streamlined it over the years. So hiring us means that you get the benefit of an already up and running, streamlined billing operation. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We’ve already done it for you and will be happy to help.

Less liability

Although you may have been diligent in the hiring process and you may have many employees on your staff you can trust, the most common embezzlement is by employees and can happen in your accounting or billing departments. Embezzlement is a crime that may not just simply hurt your business financially, but has the possibility of forcing it into bankruptcy. Outsourcing your billing services reduces your risk of financial liability that could otherwise have a devastating impact on your business.

The advantages of hiring a physical therapy billing service can often outweigh the loss of control you may initially feel by not keeping billing in-house. Reducing worry, streamlining processes and offloading the liability may all be reasons for you to consider hiring Contact Billing for your physical therapy billing services. To get started, contact us today.

Factors To Consider In Hiring a Physical Therapy Billing Service

factors to consider in hiring a physical therapy billing service

There are many factors to consider in hiring a physical therapy billing service for your practice. After all, you work hard for your money and you want to keep as much of it flowing into your practice as possible. So you may be weighing the pros and cons of keeping the billing in-office, versus outsourcing it and hiring a physical therapy billing service to help.

Running a healthcare practice of any kind means patient care is a top priority. However, keeping the practice running also means balancing patient care with sound business practices. If your primary focus is your patients, you may find that outsourcing your physical therapy billing is the right decision for your practice so that you can focus on what matters most — providing excellent patient care.

There are several factors to consider in hiring a physical therapy billing service:

  • Does the billing company go after just the “easy” money or also the hard?
  • Does the billing company stay informed on the latest on coding updates?
  • Does the billing company have experience in your industry or with your specialty?

Billing For “Easy” Money vs. Hard

At Contact Billing, we make it our mission to help outpatient physical therapy providers improve patient collections, reduce claim denials and improve cash flow. These are all important factors to consider in finding a partner to help you with your billing.

We know that the money you bill for should be coming into your office — each and every dollar. So, we go after the “hard” money for you as well. Our process begins with: auditing claims, CCI Edits, validating ICD-10 vs CPT codes and adjusting modifiers as necessary to get ready for submission.

Staying Informed On The Latest Coding Updates

As a healthcare provider, you are busy enough managing your practice, treating patients and overseeing your employees. When do you have time to stay up-to-date on the latest billing and coding changes as well? At Contact Billing, we do this for you and also stay on top of rules and regulations and LCD coverage modifications.

Experience With Billing For Physical Therapy

Hiring a billing company that has experience in your field or specialty also matters. At Contact Billing, physical therapy is our specialty and we have experience in the field. Hiring a billing company that knows the nuances of the medical side of physical therapy, will help eliminate errors and streamline your billing process along the way. This will ensure that more of your hard earned money comes back to your office.

There are many factors to consider in hiring a physical therapy billing service. Asking the questions above are a good place to start. Finding the right billing service to partner with your physical therapy office in this process matters.

For assistance with setting up your physical therapy billing services, contact us today.

Tips To Improve Patient Collections

tips to improve patient collections contact billing

Healthcare has not yet caught up to the way most consumer transactions are made — by having patients pay at the time of purchase, treatment or service — and it is beginning to take a toll on small healthcare practices. Many are looking for ways to improve patient collections.

With the growing popularity of high deductible health plans, many patients are now responsible for 30-50% of their healthcare expenses. With a higher fiscal burden on patients, comes reduced patient collections. This means reduced business cash flow that many small healthcare practices rely on to maintain their business.

While regulations like this in healthcare have changed, the processes and policies within many healthcare offices have yet to catch up. Many are still following outdated processes and procedures that create a problem with cash flow — as many offices wait 30, 60 or 90 days for payments from patients.

Why is it getting increasingly difficult to collect? Because patients are responsible for more of their own healthcare costs than ever before and once they leave your office, the chance of them paying decreases significantly. So, as a healthcare practice, what are some ways to improve patient collections?

Implementing these four tips will help to improve patient collections:

Define Your Policy

If you do not already have a clearly defined patient payment policy, now is the time to implement one. Your patient payment policy does not need to be complicated and in fact, should be clear and simple — one page or less. It is designed to help staff and patients have a common understanding about what types of payments are due and when. It should also include what happens if payments are missed or not made at all.

Your patient payment policy should include things like:

  • When payment is due
  • Payment methods/types
  • Whether or not your office bills insurance or if that is the patient’s responsibility
  • Penalties for late payment including, interest, collections, or stopping service/treatment if there is a balance due
  • What is collected at time of service and what it is applied towards (copay, coinsurance or unmet deductible expenses)

Train Your Staff

Once you have defined your patient payment policy, it will be up to your team to enforce it. This is where staff training comes into play. Train staff on the new policy and make sure they are onboard with helping to enforce it.

If needed, provide suggested ways to answer patient questions or scripts for handling common patient concerns about the policy. It will be up to your staff to then communicate the new policy to patients and help to enforce it by explaining to patients their responsibility for payment. Training your staff to communicate the policy with empathy, will help improve patient collections.

Educate Your Patients

Once you have defined your policy, be sure to take the time to enforce it. Once written, each patient should be expected to sign that they have read and understand the payment policy at the time of their next appointment.

Here are a few things you can do to help educate patients on their financial responsibility:

  • Have patient sign acknowledgement of payment policy
  • Help them obtain information about their coverages
  • Set expectations up front of what payments are due and when

Rely On Expert Help

In addition to creating a patient payment policy, training your staff and helping to educate patients on their financial responsibility, also rely on expert help. Having a billing company on your side can help to streamline the billing process. We can help outpatient physical therapy providers improve collections, reduce claim denials and improve cash flow.

Beyond implementation of these above processes and procedures, if you need additional assistance with patient and insurance collections, we are here to help. Our experts at Contact Billing can help providers understand and navigate guidelines, rules and regulations when dealing with electronic medical records and billing. We are in the industry and know what it takes to improve patient collections.

For assistance, contact us today.