Revenue cycle management is more than just billing. It’s a service that manages the processes that impact your bottom line from first patient contact to paid account balances and everything in between. The process of managing your dermatology clinic’s revenue cycle management starts before the patient visit, and ends when there is a zero balance that is owed to you. As simple as this sounds on paper, you know from experience the complications and added stress the collections process can have on your time and resources. The billing and collections process can tie up computers and phone lines and slows down office operations while creating additional and often frustrating work for your staff. Unfortunately, spending an inordinate amount of time managing your revenue cycle also translates to spending less time, energy and focus on patient care.
While most outsourced billing services provide a basic set of administrative services to process claims, our three-pronged approach of people, processes and technology help you achieve better results than you would be able to with administrative services alone as our Revenue Cycle Management is one that is comprehensive and gives visibility and control of the process.
It is not uncommon for billing and collection mistakes to occur when managed in-house. Common errors include incorrect information being obtained when appointments are scheduled, failing to verify payment methods or not updating insurance information with each new appointment made. Many errors are the result of data entry errors. Whatever the cause, there are really only two workable solutions. The first involves investing more time, energy, and resources into training current employees; the second is investing in professional support.
Hearing from a current client, dermatologist Dr. Jerome Potozkin from Danville, CA helps paint a better of a reason why their practice made the change. Dr. Potozkin shared, “We find that outsourcing our billing allows us more time to spend with our patients. I’m always confident our reimbursements are accurate and on time. I’m quite happy with our days of claims outstanding.”
Even though patient care is your top priority, there is no denying the importance of maintaining a healthy bottom line. In order to increase profitability, you need to properly evaluate your billing performance. Many practices miss the mark on financial performance because they aren’t analyzing all of the factors that impact revenue:
- Total Clinical Collections — How much do you generate in total clinical collections?
- Net Collection Ratio — What percentage of money do you collect against the amount you are legally owed?
- Adjustments/Write-Offs — What are your current insurance adjustments? Are all of your write-offs justified?
- Days Sales Outstanding — How long is it taking you to collect money from the date of service?
- Aged A/R Analysis — What are your current A/R balances? Is the majority (85% or higher) collected within 0-60 days?
Once you have analyzed these metrics, additional time and energy must be spent in leveraging findings to rethink and refine key processes. This is when you should look for experienced, professional support that can help streamline and error-proof your dermatology clinic’s billing and collections process.
What are some of the actual benefits your dermatology clinic can see if you outsource your revenue cycle management services for a comprehensive billing process? There are quite a few, including:
- Eliminate large delayed accounts receivable collection
- Lower claim denials
- Improve revenue cycle
- Increase patient collections
- Increase profitability
- Grow your business
- Boost collections; get paid what you deserve
Outsourcing your revenue cycle management will allow you to have a comprehensive billing process, which makes it easier for you to manage your practice. It will also allow the billing specialists to do the work for you to help ensure you receive the payments you’re entitled to. But, is dermatology-specific revenue cycle management support readily available? Does it have proven results?
Skilled and specific support is part of the comprehensive services offers. Revenue Cycle Advisors who are trained in dermatology will personally work with you to identify inefficiencies in your current billing processes, set up an efficient process that works for your practice, and work with you every step of the way to keep it up to date. The service is one that is specific to your practice’s needs.
When speaking with Marie Miller of Danville Dermatology she shared her experience that since using Modernizing Medicine’s Revenue Cycle Management, their patient collections have been the best they’ve ever been and their accounts receivables have decreased significantly. Net collections for the practice saw an increase of 20% in less than three months.
Monitoring your overall financial performance requires precise data analysis and reconciling month end reports with collection performance. Many front office employees do not possess or have not yet been trained with the skills needed. An understanding of available reports is valuable in revealing any alarming trends or potential problems. However, analyzing reports to improve collections requires the right type of experience. Some of the reports you should be taking a closer look at are:
- Unpaid Claims
- Patient Balance Reports
- Payer Performance Reports
- Aging Reports
- Aging By Payer Class
This is only a handful of the reporting available to help you collect more of what’s owed to you. However, most practices do not understand how to utilize this data, let alone how to put proven collection methods in place. This is why outsourcing RCM makes sense for any practice that is looking to improve cash flow and bring the focus back to patient care.
The truth is, if left unattended; your unpaid patient debts will keep piling up. Even if it is not something you are worried about today, uncollected debts inevitably become an unavoidable problem. When you are worried about unpaid debts, it shifts a great deal of energy away from your practice and patients, and replaces it with stress and anxiety. Why not eliminate this potential problem before it even becomes an issue?
The AuthorThom Schildmeyer
Vice President of RCM Sales
Thom Schildmeyer is the Vice President of RCM sales and has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Thom co-founded Aesyntix, a company that designed specialty-specific revenue cycle management and supply chain management solutions. His career includes 13 years at Allergan, Inc., where his experience in managed care, sales, leadership, training and practice consulting helped to drive his understanding of the needs of physicians. Thom earned his Bachelor of Science in Business from Saint Mary’s College and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from California State University-Sacramento.