EZClaim Is Monitoring Coronavirus

EZclain Is Monitoring CoronavirusDuring these unprecedented times, EZclaim is monitoring Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments, and are working to maintain the safety of our customers and employees. We are doing this by following the guidelines set forth by our state and local governments, and the recommendations from the CDC.

To enhance the safety of our employees, families, and communities, EZClaim is transitioning to a remote workforce to continue to serve our clients during this difficult period.  We will remain available, and anticipate no disruption to our service or support.

Feel free to e-mail us or visit the contact page on our website to issue any question or concern.

Thank you for your patience, and please be safe!

Sincerely,
EZclaim

 

3 Keys to Starting Your Medical Billing Practice

medical billing practiceWhether you are a person new to medical billing or someone who’s been in the business for years, launching a new medical billing practice can be hard. Understanding the market, connecting with new clients and knowing how to master your processes are challenges that you often learn as you go. Despite these challenges, it is rewarding to be out on your own growing a new company. Before you jump, let us help you understand some essential keys that you can research upfront and prepare yourself to get one step closer to being successful.

1. ONE BILLING PLATFORM VERSUS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS: First and foremost you must make a conscious decision to either focus on being an expert on an individual medical billing platform, like EZClaim, or tackling multiple platforms.  There are pros and cons of both: being an expert can make you extremely efficient in your use of the software’s billing and, scheduling features, however, it can also limit your client base to only one set of software users. Whereas having a basic understanding of multiple platforms can allow you a larger base of medical offices while limiting your ability to truly understand how best to serve each individual client’s needs.  

Pro tip: Start and master one trusted billing program, and grow your options as your billing business grows.

2. GET CLEAR ON THE CLEARINGHOUSE: A new billing company owner does not want to be held to just one clearinghouse as options are key here. Having the ability to work with any or many would be an essential piece to your billing services, however, you still want to know the best clearinghouses in the business. Understanding which clearinghouses provide the best products and services and being able to recommend those services to your client upfront will make your life easier and their business run smoother. For this very reason, EZClaim has built its software around partnerships and integrations with the best clearinghouses to make working with the one you need easy.

3. COMPLY OR DIE (HIPAA Compliance): The third key to any start-up is first understanding the importance of HIPAA Compliance. Medical billing firms literally can come crashing down with any missteps, mistakes, or misunderstandings of this essential piece of the puzzle. It goes without saying that if you are going to choose a billing software be sure that they have partnerships built around making sure you are protected. You are also responsible to make sure the data is protected so your customer and their patient’s data is safe.

HIPAA Hint: Check out Live Compliance for further details on the topic. 

There are many options available out there for your new medical billing practice, and we recommend doing your research. Within that research, you will find that EZClaim ranks very high in performance and comes in at a great price.

To learn about EZClaim go to our about page, sign up for a demo and/or download a trial for free today!

 

Small Practice Fined $100,000 for Risk Analysis Breach!

Risk Analysis Breach Can Cost Physicians Dearly!An independent physician gastroenterology practice in Utah had to report a breach related to a dispute with a Business Associate to the Office for Civil Rights department of HHS.

After the investigation into the breach, it was determined that the practice of Steven A. Porter, MD “had failed to complete an accurate and thorough risk analysis, and failed to implement security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level” and therefore, has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine.

In addition to the monetary penalty, the practice is required to implement a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). According to the investigation resolution agreement, the practice agreed to conduct a thorough Risk Analysis, the Practice must develop a complete inventory of all its categories of electronic equipment, data systems, and applications that contain or store ePHI, which will then be incorporated into its Risk Analysis, and must complete a Risk Management plan. They must also revise and implement actionable policies and procedures, all of which should have been in place prior to the breach incident.

Have you ever read such headlines and doubted whether a small Billing Company or independent physician practice actually ever face penalties?

According to the Resolution Agreement, the practice must also completely reinvent their Business Associate process, and implement a strict protocol to ensure it’s Business Associates are HIPAA Compliant. In addition to ensuring their Business Associate relationships are accurate, the entire staff must undergo security and privacy training that stresses the use of Business Associate services and applications, disclosures to Business Associates that require a Business Associates agreement or other reasonable assurances in place to ensure that the Business Associate will and can safeguard the PHI and/or the ePHI. This puts immense pressure on the Business Associates, such as Billing Companies, to ensure that they are HIPAA Compliant, but also independent physician practices to ensure their Business Associates, “down the chain” are also compliant. This is also known as gaining Satisfactory Assurance of vendor HIPAA compliance.

What can you do?

As we have stressed before, it is important for you to understand that every complaint or potential breach must be investigated by HHS/OCR. If you, a billing company, or other vendor, suspects a breach you must inform the covered entity (your client) and have a breach risk assessment completed to determine key factors and take action. Keep in mind, a business associate is a ‘person’ or ‘entity’. This means there is no Billing Company too small or too large to comply with the Federal HIPAA regulations. Again, if you haven’t completed an accurate and thorough security risk assessment prior to that, you could also be penalized under ‘willful neglect’. This category alone is $50,000 per violation!

What we do is keep this from ever being a worry for you! In fact, we have a 100% audit pass rate! For example, Live Compliance has easy to understand HIPAA breach notification training. We perform your security risk assessment and manage all your requirements, including business associates, in a clean, organized cloud-based portal. Don’t risk your company’s future, especially when we are offering a FREE Organization Assessment to help determine your company’s status. It’s easy, call us at (980) 999-1585, email me jim@LiveCompliance.com or visit LiveCompliance.com

[ Contributed by Jim Johnson, President of Live Compliance ].

Maximizing MIPS Score with Health eFilings

targeting a better MIPS scoreThere are many commonly misunderstood aspects and nuances with the MIPS program, particularly in how points are earned.  For a healthcare practice it can be challenging to know exactly what to do to earn points, optimize the score, and protect their Medicare reimbursements.  But, at the same time, the stakes have been raised every year and the final ruling of the program is even more complex than it has been in the past, further increasing the stress, burden and financial risk for a healthcare practice.

The approach a practice takes to report for MIPS will greatly impact the results.  Many do not understand, or have awareness of, the different reporting methods available to them. Many Providers erroneously still think that a registry is the only reporting option available to them or that they are required to use a registry. Or, they think that their EHR covers their reporting obligation or that an EHR’s reports satisfy the MIPS requirements. These misperception and erroneous assumptions are detrimental to the financial interests of any practice.

There is a third reporting methodology that has been established and authorized by CMS, called CEHRT, or Certified EHR Technology (software).  The CEHRT methodology assists CMS with their need for more valid data submitted through technology and to refocus Providers from merely using technology towards Providers leveraging technology to improve outcomes.  Reporting via a CEHRT using software that has been certified by the ONC is a superior approach because it optimizes the points that could be earned and therefore, maximizes Medicare reimbursements for the practice.

Recently an RCM company CEO approached us at Health eFilings with the decision to use six of her clients to conduct a side-by-side comparison of the registry and Health eFilings (CEHRT) methodologies for reporting. In this manner, she intended to validate for herself whether a CEHRT or registry would generate the greatest ROI for her clients. The results of using Health eFilings’ MIPS Accelerator service, on average earned almost triple the points versus a registry for the same year for the same clients.

MIPS score comparison graph

“Due to limited understanding and guidance, we weren’t aware of the differences of the reporting methodologies available for my clients.  We believed there was greater opportunity, but the current registry methodology we had chosen didn’t demonstrate that for our clients.”

Katy, RCM Company CEO

 

 

This side-by-side comparison highlights not only that a CEHRT is the superior method of reporting as Health eFilings was able to leverage technology to facilitate the ease, accuracy and completeness of tracking and reporting, but it also maximize a Provider’s MIPS score.  Additionally, given the levels of Medicare reimbursements for these practices, the higher score resulted in their earning a positive payment adjustment, which significantly improved their bottom line. And, take note that if the Registry were to perform the reporting for the 2019 reporting period, these practices would not earn enough points to avoid the penalty of negative 7%.

Health eFilings with its proprietary ONC certified software has many advantages over any type of registry:

  • Automatically extracts data from any EHR or billing system
  • No staff or IT time required to comply
  • Benchmarks performance versus peers based on CMS standards
  • Proprietary algorithm evaluates 9 million combinations to select best quality measures to optimize score
  • Earn 10% in bonus points for the Quality category
  • eCQM deciles earn more points than registry deciles
  • Almost all eCQM’s have a CMS benchmark versus less than 25% of registry measures
  • Electronically submits the data to CMS

And, important to note that it’s NOT too late to comply for the 2019 reporting period as Health eFilings is able to support new clients, but time is of the essence.  Reach out NOW if you or your client hasn’t reported for 2019—there is NO REASON to accept the 7% revenue hit.

Now EZClaim and Health eFilings want to ensure you can partner with the only complete, end-to-end MIPS compliance solution that saves you significant time and money. To learn more, click the following link: https://healthefilings.com/ezclaim

[ Article written by Sarah Reiter, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships with Health eFilings ].

New Patient Billing Methods by Texting and Email

New patient billing methodsThis article about new patient billing methods was written by Angie Carter with NexTrust.

Communication is easier than it’s ever been, but a lot of practices aren’t taking full advantage of two of today’s most effective mediums of communication: email and texting. Patients, like all other consumers, spend a lot of time on their phones; it’s where they keep in touch with friends and family, as well as businesses they work with regularly.

Most practices rely heavily on phone calls to contact their patients about appointment reminders, insurance issues, etc. But many adults now prefer to communicate via email or text. Often a quick phone call will do the trick, but email and texting gets your foot in the door a lot more often. Furthermore, people are far more likely to respond to a text or email than a voicemail.

Here are a few ways to build your contact list at your practice to improve communication with patients, ensuring greater patient satisfaction and better cash flow.

  1. Collect cellphone numbers & email addresses during new patient registration.

Consider making these required fields. Allow the option to fill out more than one email address or mobile number as well, since most households have several. It would also be helpful to quickly explain why you need this information. BillFlash allows you to send out regular statements and eBills through email and text, and you can also quickly update your patients on any last-minute changes happening at your practice.

If you have a newsletter or regularly send out practice updates, make sure patients know about these as well. This is another opportunity to ensure you have the information you need to better communicate with your patients.

  1. Ask for an email address & cellphone number any time you confirm an appointment.

Even if your current patients have already given you this information, use appointment confirmations as an opportunity to verify the information you have on file is current. Email addresses change all the time, so it’s crucial to ensure they’re up to date so you know your messages are being received. And for patients who haven’t yet provided this information, this is a good time to tout the benefits of being digitally connected.

  1. Encourage mail-only patients to go paperless.

A huge barrier to patients paying their bills on time—or at all—is that it’s often not as simple to pay a medical bill as it is to pay, say, a utility bill. BillFlash simplifies this process tremendously, both for the patients and your practice. By providing an email address and cellphone number, patients can more easily stay current on their medical bills and procedures.

  1. Ask patients to provide feedback on your website.

Give your patients a space to express their thoughts at their convenience. Include a form on your website for patients to fill out—which would include their email address and phone number—and add the info they provide to your database. You could also post signs throughout your office encouraging patients to visit your website to provide feedback about the care they received that day. 

  1. Add cellphone number/email to check-in sheet.

Most practices require patients to sign in whenever they come in for an appointment. Consider adding a column or two that asks for their email and cellphone number. At the top of the column you could include a note that says something like “Want to receive appointment reminders via text or email?” to reiterate the benefit patients will receive by providing this information.

  1. Offer patients an incentive to provide their email address & cellphone number.

People love free stuff—that’s a given. Try running a fishbowl incentive every few months. All patients would need to do is drop their email address and/or cellphone number into a bowl and they’ll be entered into a drawing to win a prize. And why reward just the patients? Incentivize your office staff to collect this information as well.

Everyone has a cellphone number and email address, but it does take some effort to collect them. But it’s effort that rewards you many times over, as this makes it easier to keep patients in the loop and ensure you get paid. BillFlash makes it easy to automate patient billing and payments—including sending reminders via email or text—to improve the financial health of your practice.

BillFlash is integrated into the EZclaim billing application. Click here to view a video that discusses the details.

For more information about new patient billing methods and sending electronic bill notifications through text and email, contact EZclaim or their statement and payment services partner, BillFlash, at 435-940-9123 or sales@billflash.com

Seven Tips to Improve Revenue Integrity

Denied ClaimsDenied Claims Are Everyone’s Business.

Contributed by Timothy Mills, Alpha II, LLC

Claim denials are the bane of every RCM company. Chasing money is costly and navigating regulations, coding edits, and health plan particularities can frustrate even seasoned billing professionals. 

The American Association of Family Physicians puts the average claim denial rate at around 20 percent and reworking a single claim can cost hospitals and offices anywhere from $25 – $118 on average, so the initial validity of every claim is critical. While denial percentages have been dropping – thanks to technology that allows billers and coders to verify accuracy of their work and catch the most egregious errors – the reality is you can do better. Use the following seven tips as a starting point to determine how you can maximize revenue by reducing denials.

 

Recognize that the revenue cycle begins in the front office.

Providing services to patients whose insurance has changed or lapsed will result in a denial—even if it’s coded correctly. Make it a point to check your patients’ insurance at each visit, including copays and deductibles. Front-end verification can prevent back-office headaches.    

 

Look beyond first-pass clean claim rate.

A high first-pass clean claim rate may look great on the month-end statement you provide to your bosses, but what does it really mean? This rather meaningless metric only gauges the percentage of claims that are initially accepted by a payer. It says nothing about the denial rate, which is where the real work begins. Focus on metrics that matter, such as denial rate, collections as a percentage of revenue, or days in A/R.

 

Learn from your mistakes.

Use denied claims as a learning experience. Why did the claim deny? Some common reasons include a lack of medical necessity, a mismatch of diagnosis and treatment codes, upcoding or unbundling, incorrect coding, and missing/wrong modifiers. Use claim data content with comprehensive edit logic to perform a deep dive into denials. Is the problem an individual coder, clinician documentation, or a certain procedure or treatment type? Understanding the “why” behind every error will help you uncover how the organization can do better.

 

Examine your workflows.

Your increased denial rate may be occurring because your operational workflows aren’t aligned with billing best practices. If you are performing claim editing only after the claim is generated, you’re not allowing for actionable change by those who created the errors. Also, are those who work denied claims relaying the information back to the relevant department? If your billers, coders, and clinicians don’t know they are making mistakes, they will continue to make them 

 

Edit claims early in the process.

This goes hand in hand with our previous step. Recognize that revenue cycle management truly begins in the front office and flows through everyone who generates a charge, codes a procedure, or prepares a claim. Develop the mindset that everyone who touches a patient record should understand the implications of coding. For example, a clinician who sees charting as a burdensome task may make inadvertent mistakes that results in incorrect coding, which in turn creates more work for your billing staff who has to work the denial. Fixing these costly mistakes takes precious time that would be better spent on more complex tasks. 

 

Examine your claims technology.

Claim editing software is a must to reduce denials. But not all software is the same. As we said before, claims acceptance is important but has little bearing on overall denial rates. Many electronic medical records and practice management systems have generic claim edits that check for obvious technical mismatches such as age-related discrepancies, date of service issues, and CCI mismatches. But those systems will do nothing to help your billing department move the needle on denials. An advanced clinical claim editing solution with constantly updated content is worth the investment. The edit explanations help your coding staff recognize the changing parameters that can affect denials.

 

Train for better performance.

Not everyone on your staff or in your billing organization needs to understand coding and claims at a detailed level. However, everyone should understand the role they play in the revenue cycle process. Don’t simply demand that front office staff check insurance every time – explain why it’s important to the claims process. Make sure clinicians understand the differences between common visit types and procedures so charges are captured accurately on the front end. And ensure your coding and revenue cycle personnel are working to add value to the organization by performing high-level work. A robust clinical coding and claim editing software can help educate coders on procedural changes and provide tips to keep claim denials as low as possible.

Just as everyone who interacts with a patient affects that patient’s perception of your practice, reducing your organization’s claims denial rate is the responsibility of every staff member who interacts with the patient’s data. Ensuring accuracy throughout your entire revenue cycle will improve the overall integrity and result in improved revenue.

 

The Alpha II Solution

Are you ready to submit precise claims the first time?  Contact Alpha II, a leader in revenue cycle solutions. Our comprehensive clinical claim editing solution, ClaimStaker, covers the entire continuum of care, verifying claim data from the payer’s perspective and allowing for corrections prior to filing.

Check out our Denial Impact Assessment Calculator to see what your denials really cost your practice or contact us today for a free personalized Claims Assessment. See why ClaimStaker does more than clear claims. It gets claims paid.

If you enjoyed this article about denied claims and seven tips to improve revenue integrity, visit our blog page to see more interesting and informative articles. You may also Follow Us on Facebook to stay up to date with our most recent events at EZClaim.

Reports – Nuisance or Necessity? 

EZClaim Premier ReportsEZClaim Reports – Written by Stephanie Cremeans of EZClaim

Have you ever gone to leave for a meeting, you’re right on schedule or maybe even a couple of minutes early, you go to grab your keys – but they aren’t where they are supposed to be. You feel a mild wave of stress, ok … if they aren’t here they have to be in my jacket pocket. You reach in, nope – no keys. Now the stress turns to a sense of urgency, you have to leave, right now, but where are the keys? You start running through every possible place you may have stashed them – you dart from here to there, back and forth until you finally stop yourself. You take a second to calm yourself and retrace steps, you have your “a-ha” moment and walk directly to your keys.

If you are a report user – chances are you’ve experienced a similar scenario when you run your daily, weekly or the dreaded month-end reports when something seems off. Report users depend on the integrity of their reports, they are the key to making decisions, tracking productivity and understanding the overall health of the practice. Running a report that “just isn’t right” brings about the same feeling of losing your keys when it’s time to walk out the door. Much like the scenario above, you grasp at straws to figure out what went wrong – but it seems that report problems escalate the stress levels at warp speed! Next time that a report seems “wrong” try to stop yourself from diving into panic mode and take a minute to consider some logical problems that may be throwing those reports off. Yes, some of these suggestions seem so obvious, but just like the lost keys – we can miss the obvious when we are missing something so important. 

  • Start by making sure that you are running the correct report:
    • Are you comparing numbers from a previous period? If so, make sure you’re running the same report with the exact same criteria as the one which you are comparing.
    • What are you doing with the report? Is this for compiling information, is this a work tool? The answer may make a difference when looking for the correct report, in EZClaim a customized grid may even work better than a predefined report.
  • Check your dates:
    • Check the dates of the criteria you are using – is your data to be compiled by a transaction date, created date, exported date? Are your dates too wide open or too limited?
    • Do you have transactions entered with incorrect dates? Future dates or a transposed number such as 2002 rather than 2020 can be overlooked, but cause problems with reporting.
  • Consider factors within the practice that would affect a big fluctuation for the period in question:
    • Were there providers on vacation or a holiday that affected practice volume?
    • Are there outstanding credentialing or enrollment issues that would have slowed or stopped payments?

If you don’t have a set of reports that you monitor, I highly recommend that you consider making this a priority in 2020. Watching specific data sets, or key performance indicators gives you the information you need to spot a problem before it is out of control. You can monitor provider and billing productivity easily, making sure your revenue is being collected in a timely manner. EZClaim provides several reports and customizable grids that can give you the details you need, right at your fingertips.

For tips and tricks and other helpful information about the EZClaim reports, visit our online help manual or contact EZClaim sales. You may also follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn to stay up to date with our most recent happenings!

Customer Service, Is It Important To You?


Medical Billing Customer Service

If you have ever been the victim of poor customer service you know how frustrating it can be. Long wait times, scripted answers, limited product knowledge, poor communication skills, and ultimately unresolved problems. No matter how good the product is, poor medical billing customer service leaves you feeling alone and stuck teaching yourself. At the end of the day, it’s an experience that we at EZClaim are committed to solving and have been since the company was founded.

What is it that EZClaim is doing that sets us apart and makes your experience better than the status quo?

There are 5 Keys to Customer Service we have built into the fabric of EZClaim.

1. CREATE A CUSTOMER SERVICE CULTURE: We take pride in saying, ‘we’re a customer support company that happens to sell software’. This means we put our support team first, we listen to what they’re reporting back, we celebrate their successes and focus on fixing the problems they highlight and in the end that makes both a great product and a great experience.

2. HIRE INDUSTRY EXPERTS: We aim to hire experts with industry experience that understand your challenges in medical billing, coding, and working with healthcare practices. This ensures that you are speaking to someone who knows your needs and can provide solutions customized to you.

3. CREATE A STRONG FOUNDATION: We have learned that the best way to solve problems is to create a solid foundation of understanding upfront. To do so we developed an onboarding-discovery process where we learn about your practice, the way you do business, your pain points and your overall needs. Based on that we work with you through training to set up the system that best works for you.

4. RESPOND QUICKLY AND FOLLOW-UP CONSISTENTLY: We have made it a priority to respond to your needs immediately. With a 100% U.S. based support team our average response time is within 1-2 hours of your request. We know your business and the services you provide are important to you, and responding quickly to your needs is important to us.

5. MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS FOR THE LONG-TERM:  Finally, our customer service is designed to maintain our relationship for the long-term. We want the experience to be smooth, the follow up to be consistent, and most importantly we want you to know we care. To prove it our contracts are month to month, so we know that each month we have work to provide the best service available to you.

Finally, we know some people work best when they work things out on their own. We have a full library of YouTube tutorials and comprehensive online manuals to help you problem-solve. We do this and more because we celebrate our customers, we work hard to be here for you when you need us most, and we hope you’ll consider EZClaim for your medical billing software needs.

 

 

Want to put us to the test? Try EZClaim free for 30 days.

For tips and tricks and other helpful information about the EZClaim reports, visit our online help manual or contact EZClaim sales. You may also follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn to stay up to date with our most recent happenings!

Office for Civil Rights is Looking at Business Associates

Live Compliance – EZClaim’s trusted HIPAA Compliance Experts

It is often, small companies who work in healthcare falsely assume that HIPAA pertains to large organizations and hospitals, when in fact, a Business Associate, is a person or entity that works with Protected Health Information. Many organizations don’t realize that the fundamentals of a compliance program are Business Associate Agreements, and performing Security Risk Assessments. 

In fact, an Indiana-based Business Associate, Medical Informatics Engineering, was recently fined $100,000 for “failing to perform a comprehensive risk assessment before its server was hacked in May 2015” resulting in what was concluded to be “one of the largest breaches in recent healthcare history!” According to the Resolution Agreement, MIE must assess whether its existing security measures are sufficient to protect its ePHI, and must revise their Corrective Action Plan, Policies and Procedures, and training materials, as needed. 

In May of 2019, in an effort to make the HIPAA Privacy Rule as easy to understand as possible, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has come up with a list of rules that clearly explain what Business Associates are now “directly liable” for. As OCR Director Roger Severino explains, “We want to make it as easy as possible for regulated entities to understand, and comply with, their obligations under the law.” 

The list consists of ten rules that, if failed to follow, can result in penalties and monetary fines. 

The OCR has made it very clear that even so much as simply “[failing] to comply with the requirements of the Security Rule” can result in immediate penalties as well. 

To this end, one of the most important rules also includes information about Business Associate Agreements and their need for proof of Satisfactory Assurance when the Covered Entity requests this of them. 

Satisfactory Assurance is crucial because it ensures the Business Associate is HIPAA Compliant and therefore, must also be in the form of a contract. Because it is so often overlooked, the fact 

sheet points out that there would be penalties associated with “Failure to enter into business associate agreements.” 

Are you ready when asked by your clients to provide your statement of Satisfactory Assurances? 

Checking off your Business Associate requirements, including those listed in the OCR’s fact sheet, is very easy with EZClaim’s trusted HIPAA Compliance Experts, Live Compliance. 

First, it is most important that all Business Associates and Vendors have proof of Satisfactory Assurance at least annually, as well as Business Associate Agreement outlining their roles, functions and notification requirements. 

Second, Business Associates and Vendors must complete an accurate and thorough Security Risk Assessment. A Security Risk Assessment will target vulnerabilities related to what is potentially exposing Protected Health Information. Failing to do so could also result in a penalty under ‘willful neglect’. This category alone is $50,000 per violation! These fines are huge, but the reputational damage to your billing company and the covered entity is expensive and difficult to overcome. (Live Compliance has a 100% audit pass rate!) 

Lastly, employees should be HIPAA trained with relevant course material to their role and your organization. Your workforce is your first line of defense. Completely built into your portal, Live Compliance training is custom, online, and role-based. Training is delivered and monitored within the Live Compliance portal, anytime and from anywhere.

If you enjoyed this article, please click here to stay up to date with our most recent blog posts! We thank you for reading.

Best Practices When Sending Patients to Collections

patients collectionsAs Patient Payment Responsibility continues to increase, sending patients to collections efficiently & effectively is more critical to the financial health of your practice than ever before. Here are some helpful tips to optimize your patient collections process.

  1. Communicate your collection policy upfront
  2. Integrate your collections process with your billing
  3. Consider offering discounts for self-pay patients
  4. Accept multiple forms of payment 
  5. Offer multiple payment options
  6. Require patients to make “good faith” payments

Practices that employ the following practices can help prevent sending patients to collections or make the collections process much more efficient and effective.

1.Communicate your collection policy upfront

Prior to patient appointments, clearly communicate your collection policy. This helps the patient plan ahead to pay in full in the specified time period. This is especially important for patients that must meet a deductible or coinsurance amounts towards the out of pocket expenses. When patients are aware in advance, they are more likely to make some of their payment upfront. In addition to pre-visit communications, specify your collections with signs in your office, intake forms, information documents and on your website.

2. Integrate your collections process with your billing

The current process to send patients to collections is tedious, time-consuming and prone to error and miscommunications. That’s because staff must constantly and manually pull lists of patients eligible for collections and send all the necessary patient information to the agency. Plus, all the complex back and forth communications, followed by posting accounting for the payments.

Leveraging an automated patient billing system like BillFlash, you can create rules based on aging and minimums that queue up patients eligible for collections and send all the necessary information to begin the collections process. Practices can manage the entire collections process right in the patient billing system including setting rules, approving accounts for collections, and reports. To learn more, call NexTrust BillFlash at 435-940-9123 or visit collections.billflash.com

3. Consider offering discounts for self-pay patients

While insured patients receive discounts through their insurance provider, self-pay patients are responsible for their full payment. As an incentive to pay bills in a timely manner, offering self-pay patients a discount to pay in a timely fashion could reduce accounts sent to collections, improve the patient payment experience, and help improve your cash flow.

4. Accept Multiple Forms of Payment

Limitations in accepted payment methods and payment options can be a liability for your practice in getting paid quickly, and sometimes, getting paid at all. You can remove these barriers by incorporating payment systems that make it easy to accept all card types as well as payment plans. The BillFlash Billing and Payment system lets you offer these payment options to your patients simply. Patient billing and payments can then be synced with EZClaim because of the existing integration with BillFlash.

5. Offer Multiple Payment Options

Patients may find themselves in collections because out of pocket expenses are often much higher than they expected and can sometimes be thousands of dollars. Offering various payment methods and payment plans improves the patient experience and overall satisfaction.

Limitations in accepted payment methods and payment options can be a liability for your practice in getting paid quickly, and sometimes, getting paid at all. You can remove these barriers by incorporating payment systems that make it easy to accept all card types as well as payment plans. The BillFlash Billing and Payment system lets you offer these payment options to your patients simply. Patient billing and payments can then be streamlined because of the existing integration with BillFlash.

6. Require patients to make ‘good faith’ payments

If a patient is not paying their balance in full, requiring them to pay a portion of the payment is a helpful first step in keeping their commitment to fully meeting their financial responsibility. These small steps not only make the debt more manageable for patients but creates payment momentum for future payments so that at 90 or 120 days they owe much less and are less likely to be candidates for collections. 

With increasingly more patient payment responsibility, the risk for patients being sent collections can rise as well. So, helping your patients avoid collections and optimizing your collections process when collections become necessary, can bring big financial returns

Call NexTrust today 435-940-9123 or email at sales@billflash.com or go to collections.billflash.com to learn how collections are now integrated with automated patient billing and payments to improve the financial health of your practice.

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CONTACT INFO

337 S. Main Street
Ste 200
Rochester, MI 48307

877.650.0904

FOLLOW US ON


CONTACT INFO

337 S. Main Street
Ste 200
Rochester, MI 48307

877.650.0904

FOLLOW US ON


CONTACT INFO

337 S. Main Street
Ste 200
Rochester, MI 48307

877.650.0904

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337 S. Main Street
Ste 200
Rochester, MI 48307

877.650.0904

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337 S. Main Street
Ste 200
Rochester, MI 48307

877.650.0904

FOLLOW US ON