In order to survive in the ever-changing healthcare landscape, billers and coders need to update their skills and concepts timely. Because it is crucial to streamline the lab revenue cycle management and stay on top of the changes.
Revenue collections management basically deals with managing both administrative and clinical functions related to patients’ services, insurance verification, medical coding, billing, claims submission, and revenue collections.
No doubt, it’s a complicated procedure but lab technicians can’t ignore its importance. Because their financial stability is highly dependent on the optimization of revenue collection management.
It is a common belief that the fields of medical billing and coding have been changed completely just because of the introduction of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and advanced practice management software.
Because the cutting-edge billing tools can boost the efficiency of lab billing services- with every claim being billed out accurately and collected upon in a timely manner. But unfortunately, laboratory practitioners still fail to collect as much as 30% of potential revenue due to the inefficiencies in the lab billing process.
The inefficient billing system leads to a high rate of claim denials as almost 50% of denials never get worked which results in a 5-7% loss of potential revenue. If your laboratory practice is leaving money on the table, then you should get a comprehensive review of your billing process.
However, if you are looking for innovative ways to optimize your billing and coding process, then your search ends here. Here are the following tips that can help you to maximize revenue collections.
1. Streamlines Information Flow
Accurate documentation is key to successful lab medical billing services. Therefore, you should make sure that your front-desk staff keeps accurate medical documentation.
By having organized and up to date medical documentation, you can not only easily find any inefficiencies in your lab revenue cycle management but it also decreases the rate of claim denials.
Moreover, you should closely monitor the performance of your registration staff. Because they are responsible to collect the patients’ demographic information including: name, date of birth, gender, age, ethnicity, phone number, address, and basic insurance information.
Medical billers use this information to prepare medical claims and a slight error in this data can lead to claim denials/reactions. So, you should hire well-trained front-desk staff to ensure accuracy in the process of information collection.
In addition to this, front-end staff must verify the insurance eligibility and policies of regular or new patients. You should keep your patients informed about their co-pays and deductibles. A verification checklist can be a great tool to ensure that all vital information is collected and considered.
Moreover, in order to increase the efficiency of information flow within the lab billing system, you should stop using manual methods to keep patients’ records. Because paper-based workflows are time-consuming and more prone to errors as compared to digital workflows.
2. Understand Patients’ Preferences
The primary concern of every healthcare provider is to provide quality care to the patients. Therefore you should provide patient-protected services while easily automating your workflow.
For instance, you can offer patient-friendly payment options. Which enables them to pay their co-pays and deductibles without facing obstacles. You should keep in mind that, timely collection of copays and deductibles is crucial to streamline lab revenue cycle management.
You can make it convenient for patients by offering them flexible payment options like credit/debit cards or other digital methods. In this advanced era, patients are already familiar with online payments through online portals. So, they will feel convenient to pay their dues online as compared to the physical visits, etc.
3. Keep Pace With Industry Changes
The ever-evolving healthcare industry witnesses constant changes in terms of state laws, insurance policies, medical billing, and coding guidelines. So, in order to manage the medical claims according to industry standards, it is crucial for your billing and coding staff to undergo constant training.
For instance, if your coding staff isn’t aware of the latest changes and processes the medical claims with outdated codes, then the claims get denied. Which slows down the lab revenue cycle management of your practice.
4. Avoid Coding Errors
The maximum reimbursements are highly dependent on the medical codes. Because insurance companies get information about patients’ diagnosis, treatments, equipment, and medical services through these codes.
The coding errors lead to high denial rates. But the more serious consequences of upcoding, unbundling, and acts of medical frauds could have your laboratory practice facing federal penalties and expensive fines.
Most of the time, coding errors occur due to the missing details in the medical record. Coders can easily prevent such mistakes by double-checking the provided information.
Moreover, you should regularly evaluate the performance of medical coders. As a result, they will pay more attention to the details they need to accurately code.
We all know that the constant evolution in the healthcare industry has made medical coding extremely complicated. Therefore, you should hire certified coders to ensure the accuracy of the medical codes.
5. Outsource Lab Revenue Cycle Management
As we have already discussed, revenue collection management is a complicated and time-consuming process. Laboratory practitioners find it difficult to manage it efficiently while focusing on patients’ care. Therefore, they prefer to outsource lab billing services to a trusted billing company.
Outsourced lab billing experts have the extensive industry experience to file error-free claims in a timely manner. Which ultimately reduces the chances of claim denials and lab technicians enjoy streamlined cashflow.
In addition to this, your administrative staff get rid of the excessive responsibilities and can invest this saved time in providing standard aid to the patients.
Moreover, by outsourcing laboratory billing services, you can save a significant amount of money on overall operational costs such as: hiring and training of lab billing experts, salaries, training, incentives, paid holidays, office workspace, installation and maintenance of advanced software, etc.
Hence, they decrease the financial burden of lab practitioners and help them to achieve their financial needs.
Have you decided to outsource your lab revenue cycle management? Laboratory Billings is a top-rated laboratory billing company in the United States. Our RCM experts have hands-on experience in handling major specialties. Visit our website to schedule a free demo of our reliable services.