What is Collection Process in Medical Billing?
In medical billing, the collection process is referred to as a clear financial policy and effective communication with patients. Additionally, a medical billing specialist collects all necessary information, including patient demographics, clinical services provided, and insurance details; prepares and submits medical bills to payers for reimbursement. However, in this way, we can easily identify the different stages of the medical billing and collection process.
The collection possesses in medical billing holds a significant role in RCM because the medical claims assessors review the claim and issue payment after a while, or if they find anything wrong with the claim, they return it with a reason for the denial. Likewise, it is now the responsibility of the medical officer to correct the problem, make corrections and reapply to complete the medical billing and collection process.
Why improving the collection process is important?
Improving the collection process is an integral part of effective revenue cycle management. Healthcare payments have changed dramatically over the past few months due to the impact of COVID-19, and patients have become increasingly vulnerable due to rising healthcare costs and high medical bills.
It’s not over yet, and the burden of paying for healthcare still falls on patients. Healthcare providers, in turn, must adjust their collections to reflect the new demands of the healthcare industry, especially to avoid problems with medical cash flow targets.
Common Challenges in Collection Process
The medical billing collection process determines improvements in patient quality of life if medical professionals, medicines, and payers work closely together. Healthcare departments must understand physician-patient collaboration, payers, and prescribing. Reliable data is now at the heart of any hospital’s decision-making.
It is inconceivable for anyone in the healthcare ecosystem to use incomplete or fragmented data, as this prevents them from providing valuable insights and opens the door to compliance risks.
Electronic health records (software) collect and organize the information gathered during patient consultations. Records from data payers, personal health claims, patient portals, and payment information reside in different data sources for patient profiles in the medical device dataset.
Other variables that may affect health outcomes include health behaviors, physical environment, socioeconomic factors, and lifestyle. Information in healthcare is another type of data integration and transfer between different healthcare partners.
Additional data about patients and their environment is available from multi-vendor government sources, which helps make good predictions for the right patient at the right time.
Data-driven recommendations and insights improve hospital quality and effectiveness, especially in disease prevention and early identification of at-risk populations.
Collecting all the data together and using it to make results is always a huge challenge. Some of the major challenges that Medical Billing specialists faced in the collection process is:
- Lack of Data (disinformation)
- Changing Data,
- Privacy And Security Regulations
- Patient Expectations
How can I-Med Claims help you improve your patient collection?
I-Med Claims medical billing services can help you increase your practice revenue and achieve your financial goals. We provide simplified solutions focused on core billing services to protect your cash flow and help improve your patient collection.
Our state of the art services includes,
- Insurance verification
- Approved medical coding
- Claims submission
- Denial management
- Complete Patient billing
- Transparent Reporting
How to improve your collection process?
When a patient first contacts your clinic for an appointment, the front desk staff is responsible for collecting the patient’s full information, including contact address and insurance details. Rather than asking and writing down patient information directly, give your patients an option to email their full details.
If you use any patient portal software or online appointment scheduling tools, make sure they have the necessary fields to collect and update patient information. During patient visits, always ensure that contact information is accurate and up-to-date. Because ensuring accurate patient records will allow staff to verify coverage and follow up with patients throughout treatment and patient collection.
You must obtain all necessary consents for the use of electronic communications via text and email. Approval must include patient confirmation of receipt of protected health information (PHI) and must comply with all state and federal guidelines, including TCPA.
Use the patient portal to collect payments
If you want your patients to pay their bills on time, the best way is to give you easy access to your payment process. One way is to allow patients to pay online with a credit card. But collecting money through the patient portal will help expedite the collection process and satisfy purposeful use.
Identify any outstanding balances there
Before or during care is provided, first check coverage with the care payer and clarify payer rules. This will help you determine what has changed in any collection process, what portion of the expected treatment cost will be covered, and the patient’s responsibility to pay.
Implement the correct payment policy
The correct way to collect patient points is to ask the patient to pay for the subscription during their stay. Develop payment policies for medical offices to ensure patients are aware of this requirement. After that, it is advisable to include a Patient Responsibility Agreement in the registration document for the patient to sign. This policy is designed to provide your patients and staff with clear guidance on collections. Additionally, use a secure patient messaging platform to send automated appointment reminders to report due at the time of service.
Offer payment plans
If your patient is willing to pay but cannot pay the bill in full upfront, a payment plan may be a better option. Offering flexible payment options will help your clinic increase collections and give patients peace of mind knowing they can pay for the treatment they need.
Consider offering these payment plans to patients who receive large bills and tell them they won’t be able to pay the full amount right away. Also, train your staff on how to properly interpret and track these options. Also, check that the payment plan meets all state and federal guidelines.
Accept multiple payment methods.
Grow your patient base by offering multiple payment options. Payment methods should include cash, credit/debit card, or a visible check-in a checking or savings account. According to the 2019 rankings, 79.1% of people in the US use a smartphone. The 47% of US smartphone users say their lives cannot be separated from a mobile device. Therefore, introducing an easy-to-use and convenient online payment tool in your patient portal can also help improve your patient collection.
Use the best medical billing software
Medical billing software can help you streamline the patient collection process by tracking payment details. Including overdue bills, automatically paying late fees, and identifying overdue patients. While buying billing software comes at a cost, it’s a cost-effective way to improve your collection rates.
By following all the above-mentioned steps, you can improve your collection process in medical billing. With advanced technologies and an expert team, I-Med Claims is the perfect solution that can tackle all the complexities of financial matters in your medical practice promptly