4 Steps to Getting the Most Out of Your Data Analytics

4 Steps to Getting the Most Out of Your Data Analytics

As patients return to doctor’s offices and health systems around the country, healthcare organizations find themselves in uncharted waters, with a greater need than ever to make data-driven decisions that grow revenue. Per a recent report from KLAS, 63% of hospitals found themselves struggling with real-time data analytics.

It should come as no surprise then that investments in new analytics tech and training are on the rise. According to a report from the Society of Actuaries (SOA), 42% of surveyed healthcare executives reported an improvement in patient satisfaction since implementing predictive analytics, while 39% said they had cut costs. Since 2011, over $39B has been invested in digital health tech, including $7.48B in 2019 alone. It’s estimated that roughly 20% of that has been funneled into the development of technology-focused on managing health records and analytics. Furthermore, some models have estimated improving available data collection and analysis tech could save the healthcare industry roughly 25% of its total costs.

The question is, what can you do to unlock that potential within your own organization? There’s a deep well of data that each revenue cycle feeds into, which if properly analyzed, can help organizations operate at their most efficient and effective. Here are the four stages of data analytics workflows that are key to developing those actionable insights.

1. A trigger, or the point in your revenue cycle that sets up the call for deeper analysis
2. Interpretation of data to determine root causes and identify appropriate next steps
3. Intervention to improve specific metrics
4. Tracking of said metrics to chart success in achieving desired outcomes

Let’s examine what a successful version of each stage looks like.

1. Trigger
The trigger occurs when you notice something that needs further investigation. With the right analytics tool, you can easily access all of your key performance indicators, financial goals, and more, providing the visibility you need into your rev cycle. When something looks amiss or needs improving, you can drill down to the level that shows what’s really going on.

2. Interpretation
Even a wealth of data amounts to nothing without an efficient way to process and communicate key takeaways. You’ll need to equip your team with access to concise reports, smart visualizations, and relevant historical data in order to get them to the insights that drive action.

3. Intervention
Now is the time to take action. Intervention is ultimately tied directly to your ability to drill down into the data underlying problematic areas of your revenue cycle and clearly communicate takeaways with your team. Success at this stage depends on designing a plan based on your best understanding of underlying issues and the most effective way to address them.

4. Tracking
Your intervention plan is built on KPIs that naturally intertwine with the way you measure success across your revenue cycle. With proper implementation and tracking, running with the analytics cycle can become a simple addition to your everyday workflow. More than delivering on your initial goals, the true power of analytics is the ability to deliver repeat value on your initial investment.

A strong analytics solution does more than deliver a more fully developed picture of your rev cycle performance. It provides actionable business intelligence, cuts down on time between analysis and action, and lessens the strain on your IT department.
Beyond the actionable internal insights it can provide, analytics is also a key tool for helping you benchmark performance in comparison to peers in the industry. And with the right analytics solution, competitive analysis is a simple task, using automation that reviews customizable benchmarks for a tailored review of the claim, payment, and denial performance.

Looking for a truly comprehensive analytics solution to help improve performance and enhance your benchmarking capabilities? Find out how Waystar can help you harness the power of your data through analytics. Visit Waystar.com

Heading to AMBA in October? Visit Waystar and EZClaim while you’re there! Stay tuned for more event details.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

[ Contribution from the marketing team at WayStar ]

Medicare Revalidation is Critical to Maintaining Eligibility

Medicare Revalidation is Critical to Maintaining Eligibility

Medicare is the largest payer for most practitioners, so it’s important that providers maintain current credentials. Medicare requires providers to revalidate every five years to verify credentials and ensure they meet Medicare qualifications. Providers must confirm or update information including the legal entity name, physical address, phone, fax, national provider identifiers, employer identification number, and board certifications and licenses if applicable.

While typically a straightforward process, if not completed correctly and on time, providers will be terminated from the program and required to reapply. Until a new application is processed and approved, which can take anywhere from 90-120 days, reimbursements will stop, disrupting the revenue cycle.

Occasionally, providers may receive off-cycle revalidation requests. These are typically triggered when anomalies are identified such as billing rates that are significantly higher than other providers in the same geography, billing for services not rendered, or billing patients for services that Medicare doesn’t allow.

To comply with Medicare revalidation requirements, providers need to know their revalidation schedule and make sure applications and supporting documentation are submitted through Medicare’s PECOS online application portal. Revalidation dates cannot be extended, so it’s important they’re submitted on time. Using a third party to navigate the nuances of Medicare revalidation and PECOS removes the burden from provider staff and ensures accurate and timely filing.

TriZetto Provider Solutions (TPS) offers an end-to-end credentialing service that includes continuous payer follow-up and insight into enrollment status. Our dedicated team takes provider data, verifies it for accuracy, and submits credentials for revalidation through PECOS. All Medicare-participating providers are subject to revalidation, and mistakes made before or during the process can result in loss of eligibility and other penalties.

Having nearly four decades of experience working with payers and providers, the TPS credentialing experts understand the importance of maintaining current credentials. Contact us to learn more about our Medicare revalidation services.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

After Pandemic Impact and Outsourcing Revenue Cycle Management

After Pandemic Impact and Outsourcing Revenue Cycle Management

After Pandemic Impact and Outsourcing Revenue Cycle Management

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt in every industry for many months to come. For medical providers, they are facing some of the most challenging financial times they will or have known. Therefore, we understand that it is crucial for providers to re-access their business and look for ways to cut costs with minimal impact on their practice or their patients.

To compound the issues providers are facing, there has been a wave of changes in recent years with new coding and telemedicine requirements that are making it difficult for provider offices to remain independent. Add on the constant rise in the cost of living and expenses while insurance reimbursements continue to decrease, and the issues get worse and worse.

Many have decided that outsourcing to a complete revenue cycle management company could help alleviate some of the undue burdens, cut costs, and keep providers compliant with their coding and billing. Ultimately this allows providers to continue to focus on patient care, which is their goal. As providers, you understand that revenue cycle management is a crucial part of your physician’s office. If not managed properly, it could result in an office leaving thousands of dollars on the table in unclaimed revenue. Over the years, our free audit services have allowed providers to have a free, transparent, and unbiased assessment of how their accounts receivable department functions. We are always amazed at how many providers do their billing in-house, and sometimes even when they outsource,  are not aware of how much money they have sitting in their accounts receivables.  Getting this knowledge is the first step to increasing revenue and efficiency.

In-house medical billers and third-party outsourced revenue cycle management companies should be giving provider offices monthly aging reports to assess their financial forecast. Each accounts receivable bucket over 60 days should hover at approximately 1 0% or less of the entire revenue balance. If account receivable buckets are higher than 10%, providers may be leaving money on the table, and the account may not be getting worked as providers think they are. In efforts to avoid unpaid claims and a spike in accounts receivable, outsourcing your revenue cycle management to a third-party medical billing company, such as BC Medical Billing, could help providers in countless ways. Many practices recognize that keeping their revenue cycle management optimized is key in delivering regular practice operations; however, they are not always sure how to achieve that. Outsourcing may be the solution!

Outsourcing alleviates the practice from managing a new medical billing employee, paying a salary and benefits, completing training and onboarding protocols, and managing the lost time from a learning curve. Many providers feel that it is not a wise use of the back office executive personnel’s time to worry about finding coders in-house and then wondering if the charges are captured and billed correctly. Instead, the business office should be focusing on how to grow the providers and the physician practice.

Our free audits will help you determine if you have found the right solution for you. If not, we are always there to assist and always increase the provider’s revenue.


ABOUT EZCLAIM:
As a medical billing expert, EZClaim can help the medical practice improve its revenues since it is a medical billing and scheduling software company. EZClaim provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, EZClaim helps improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, email them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.

[ Contribution from the marketing team at BC Medical Billing ]

Life Cycle of a Medical Bill (Revenue Cycle 101)

Life Cycle of a Medical Bill (Revenue Cycle 101)

Life Cycle of a Medical BillThere are five ‘phases’ in the life cycle of a medical bill: Pre-appointment; Point of care; Claim submission; Insurance payment or denial; and Patient payment. This post will overview each of these phases, and could even be considered to be a “101-level” course on Revenue Cycle Management.

With high deductible health plans on the rise, the recent explosion of telehealth appointments due to COVID-19, and many other factors in play, it’s more important than ever for everyone to understand the life cycle of a medical bill, and how the process works. The healthcare revenue cycle is relevant not only to those who work in healthcare, but to the patient, too.

The revenue cycle is the series of processes around healthcare payments—from the time a patient makes an appointment to the time a provider is paid—and everything in between. One way to think of it is in terms of the life cycle of a medical bill. Although there are many ways this process can play out, this post will lay out a common example below:

1. Pre-appointment
For most general care, the first stage of the revenue cycle begins when a patient contacts a provider to set up their appointment. Generally this is when relevant patient information will begin to be collected for the eventual bill, referred to on the financial side of healthcare as a claim.

At this point a provider will determine whether the appointment and procedure will need prior authorization from an insurance company (referred to as the payer). Also, the electronic health record (EHR) used to help generate the claim is created, and will begin to accumulate further detail as the provider sends an eligibility inquiry to check into the patient’s insurance coverage.

2. Point of care
The next step in the process begins when the patient arrives for their appointment. This could include when a patient arrives for an initial consultation, an outpatient procedure, or for a follow-up exam. This could also include a Telehealth appointment.

At any of these events, the provider may charge an up-front cost. One example of this is a co-pay, which is the set amount patients pay after their deductible (if they are insured), however, there are other kinds of payments that fall into this category, too.

3. Claim submission
After the point of care, the provider completes and submits a claim with the appropriate codes to the payer. In order to accomplish that, billing staff must collect all necessary documentation and attach it to the claim. After submitting the claim to the payer, the provider’s team will monitor whether a claim has been been accepted, rejected, or denied.

[ Note: Medical coding refers to the clerical process of translating steps in the patient experience with reference numbers. The codes are normally based on medical documentation, such as a doctor’s notes or laboratory results. These explain to a payer how a patient was diagnosed and treated, and why. This information helps the payer decide how much of an encounter is covered under any given insurance plan, and therefore how much the payer will pay. ]

4. Insurance payment or denial
Once the payer receives the claim, they ensure it contains complete information and agrees with provider and patient records. If there is an error, the claim will be rejected outright and the provider will have to submit a corrected claim.

The payer then begins the review process, referred to as adjudication. Payers evaluate claims for accurate coding and documentation, medical necessity, appropriate authorization, and more. Through this process, the payer decides their financial obligation. Any factor could cause the payer to deny the claim.

If the claim is approved, the payer submits payment to the provider with information explaining details of their decision. If the claim is denied, the provider will need to determine if the original needs to be corrected, or if it makes more sense to appeal the payer’s decision.

Following adjudication, the payer will send an explanation of benefits (EOB) to the patient. This EOB will provide a breakdown of how the patient’s coverage matched up to the charges attached to their care. It is not a billing statement, but it does show what the provider charged the payer, what portion insurance covers, and how much the patient is responsible for.

5. Patient payment
The next phase occurs when the provider sends the patient a statement for their portion of financial responsibility. This stage occurs once the provider and payer have agreed on the details of the claim, what has been paid, and what is still owed.

The last step occurs when a patient pays the balance that they owe the provider for their care. Depending on the amount, the patient may be able pay it all at once, or they might need to work with the provider on a payment plan.

 

The above example represents one way the lie cycle of a medical bill can play out. Some of the ‘phases’ are often repeated. Because of the complexity of healthcare payments and the parties involved, there is not always a ‘straight line’ from patient care to complete payment. That’s why we call it the revenue cycle, and there are companies that provide systems for its management.

One of EZClaim’s partners, Waystar, aims to simplify and unify healthcare payments. Their technology automates many parts of the billing process laid out above, so it takes less time and energy for providers and their teams, and is more transparent for patients (Click here to learn more about how Waystar automates manual tasks and streamlines workflows.) When the revenue cycle is operating at its most efficient, providers can focus their resources on improving patient care—and that’s a better way forward for everyone!

For more information of how Waystar works together with EZClaim, click here.

[ Article and image provided by Waystar ]

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ABOUT EZCLAIM:
EZClaim is a medical billing and scheduling software company that provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support, and can help improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit their website, e-mail them at sales@ezclaim.com, or call a representative today at 877.650.0904.