If your medical practice is like most, your business model is built on credit. You provide patients services with the expectation they’ll pay you later.
Most patients count on their insurance company to help with payment. With the sometimes complex and confusing procedures required by insurance companies, denials, underpayments and lost or ignored claims can occur.
Any one of these delays in receiving your payment can create significant cash flow problems even for the most successful practices.
Electronic claim filing and remittance can do some of the leg work, but these three tips can help clear the blockages in your practice’s cash flow pipeline and increase operational efficiency.
There is a better way. By tapping into payers’ systems, medical practices can assess the status of a patient’s deductible and accurately predict out-of-pocket expenses at the time of their visit. With this knowledge, they can discuss electronic payment methods and even obtain authorization to charge a patient’s credit card once the insurance claim is settled.
It is now possible to combine all three functions in a common database using new solutions available through some financial institutions. New technologies enable banks to receive both payments and copies of patient claims from insurers, and from these they can create electronic EOBs, also known as 835s, customized to meet a practice’s needs.
An interface allows the information in this single electronic database to post simultaneously in accounts receivable, thus automating a typically manual and time-consuming process.
These, and other emerging solutions, do more than improve cash flow. They reduce the demands on administrators and improve accuracy as well. That means more time can be spent doing what medical practices do best: providing excellent patient care.
Dana Ausburn is vice president of Commerce Bank. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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