Talking about medical billing, one has to treat it like one of the healthcare sector’s invisible engines. In its absence, one can only imagine the chaos that would ensue while trying to transmit critical data (almost all data in this sector is critical), and therefore make it difficult for the healthcare providers to get rightly paid.
For any healthcare centre to run profitably and achieve operational success, it is essential it follows certain best medical billing practices. Here are the top three practices that can ensure an organization collects money more efficiently, helping the whole healthcare industry, in turn, grow in a sure and rapid manner.
More Payment Channels Should be Provided
Including both consumer as well as payer payments, the market for health care based payments is already well on its path of growth; in the next 5 to 10 years, it is only going to increase. Keeping this in mind, healthcare organizations should give serious thought to the impact that the digital economy has on the current payment channels, and make subsequent changes. They need to focus on leveraging technology as well as foster cultural changes amongst the patients and even the staff members so that both the parties are well equipped for the payment and collection of money, respectively. We need all payment channels to move more and more towards being faceless (no need for an individual to pay or collect the money), paperless (as our society is slowly but surely becoming eco-friendly), cashless (the first two points, but also to keep a record of every transaction). Proper tools for payment processing and billing, as well as policies like discounts and staff incentive programs, need to be brought into use; otherwise, the inefficiency in administration of revenue collection could result in heavy wastage of money. There is no “one-size-fits-all” payment channel that meets the needs of every patient. The fact that the payment channels are growing in number (online, IVR, mobile, in the front office, etc.), people love how they have a ton of channels to choose to pay from. Therefore, as patients and/or members are allowed to make payments the way they want, they’re more likely to want to pay.
Achieving Interoperability is a Must to Increase Efficiency
One of the top priorities of any healthcare organization should be the interoperability of EHR. this is what allows an organization to streamline all its various internal processes that include medical billing. If at all an organization does have an EHR system with medical billing included in it, they must ensure proper communication between the main system and the various internal systems or other office’s systems. Interoperability stands at the very core of an efficient electronic communication of patient health information in any healthcare organization. That’s the primary reason why a seamless exchange of information through a decent EHR system will greatly benefit the billing department. Say, a patient’s health history is requested by their insurance carrier; in such a case, the access to complete patient history will allow the billers to receive payment much more easily and quickly, without having to enter the same data in multiple places. Reduced data entry is hence one of the most obvious benefits of interoperability. The other important advantage is transparency that it brings to the organization, without which it could crumble in no time.
Data and Security Issues Should be Taken Seriously
We already know how patients payments are on an unprecedented increase; one of the results, therefore, has been an increased exposure of the bank accounts and payment cards of patients. This, in turn, has given rise to the apparent risk of a data breach that these patients could face. Healthcare being a sensitive industry, any case of payment card data breach could not only bring a financial loss for the organization involved, but also reputational loss resulting in bad publicity and eventual loss of business. It is hence critical for healthcare companies to adhere to the rules and regulations as prescribed by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act); in case of any fraudulent activity with respect to patient data, HIPAA can effectively prevent t before, during, s well as after the claims process.
What makes one healthcare organization be on top of its game, while so many others lag behind? The major reason turns out to be the approach they take in taking care of their patients, and then their business. Both require a lot of research and well-planned use of the available technology. In the case of the latter, especially when it comes to taking care of medical billing, it is always better to employ the expertise of a professional medical billing service provider. This will not only allow the organization to reduce their operational costs and increase the pace of their revenue generation but also increase the overall efficiency of the healthcare system.