As you think about your medical billing department, keep in mind a few core principles to manage and organize for the outcome to be “best practices“.
Better management of your medical billing department:
- You should always be on the lookout for “best practices”. Challenge your staff to implement them and reward them as they make improvements. Remember, recognition for a good job is as good as cash most of the time!
- Demand accountability by monitoring medical billing and collections performance. Your staff will respond to the things that you consider important, especially if you are consistent in asking for them.
- Pay special attention to risk areas such as patient payment plans and financial hardship waivers. Make sure the staff follows the guidelines and keep yourself involved in the approval process.
- Limit the opportunity for fraud or embezzlement. Many physicians are victims of embezzlement by employees they trusted implicitly. Dividing up the duties of banking funds and posting payments is important, and there are ways to do it even in a small office. Make sure you are getting reports that show deposits matched the amount of payments actually received and posted to patient accounts.
- Finally, make sure you have policies and procedures for the medical billing department staff. These can provide guidance to existing employees and are vital to training new staff members thoroughly on the procedures of the office. In many physician offices, as staff turns over, there is less and less known about procedures or systems since not everything can be communicated verbally – even if there is someone around to communicate it!
Physicians are routinely skeptical about the performance of their medical billing services, internal or outsourced, in part because they see reports with values at billed charges and can’t understand why the actual collections aren’t higher, and in part because they don’t always know how to effectively organize or manage the area.
Effective improve physician billing processes.
And lastly, if you do decide to seek outside help with your healthcare billing and collection practices, be sure to look for someone who can ask the right questions, give you solid recommendations, and participate in implementation. Otherwise, it’s just talk!