Cash flow is the lifeblood of a medical practice. It allows facilities to be maintained, staff to be retained, and equipment and tests to remain in sufficient supply for patient care. While many factors determine a practice’s cash flow, its necessity remains constant. Fortunately, practices can maximize cash flow by implementing a few well-placed strategies to optimize medical billing.
Strategies to Maximize Cash Flow
A practice’s cash flow is dependent on many factors, i.e. billing, but all these contribute to the practice’s success as a whole. Implementing any of these strategies will help not only with the financial aspect of operating a practice, but with overall performance as well.
Well-managed Accounts Receivable
Accounts receivable describes money owed to a business by another party in exchange for services rendered. In order for an accounts receivable strategy to be successful, it must be well-defined. Patients and practice should always know what to expect from the process. A proactive plan for contacting patients when collections are due keeps them in loop.
When payments are late, have a script for staff to follow when contacting the patients in question. This should include a discussion of payment options in addition to the opportunity to establish a payment. Train employees thoroughly so all involved personnel have a clear picture of what is expected. A straightforward collection process can maximize cash flow and help practices achieve revenue targets.
Improve Balance Collections
Even before a patient receives care, steps can be taken to prevent hiccups in the billing process, thus helping to maximize cash flow. Optimize your practice to accept multiple kinds of payment methods, including checks, credit cards, and direct deposits from patient bank accounts. Send patient reminders when payment is required or past-due.
Consider implementing a pre-care payment policy. This policy may include increases in bill totals for delays in payment. Other payment plans can also improve patient accessibility and cover a practice’s bases for receiving payments. Offer flexible payment options to ease patients’ minds and help your practice increase collections.
As a precaution, collect patient contact and insurance information before their appointment. Verifying insurance before care is provided can help minimize hiccups and frustrations in the billing process later on.
Outsource Your Medical Billing
Especially if you find your staff is overwhelmed or managing collections or billing is inhibiting your practice’s ability to offer dedicated care, a third-party billing service can do much toward helping practices maximize cash flow:
- With professionals dedicated to handling the billing process, the risk of misplacing or mismanaging claims is minimized.
- Enlisting the help of a billing service can also minimize turnaround times, helping your practice receive reimbursement sooner.
- A billing service like Aspen Ridge Medical can help your practice set a plan for handling denials so you do not suffer losses in the face of insurance denials or dead claims.
- Outsourced billing services, such as those provided by Aspen Ridge Medical, can maximize cash flow and improve practices’ revenue by 10–20%.
Improving Efficiency in a Medical Practice
Any efforts to improve efficiency in your medical practice are likely to result in maximized cash flow. These can range from technological improvements to innovations in training or practice management. For example, delegation can free up time and resources to provide better care and increase revenue. Optimize patient treatment accessibility through venues like telehealth can make sure that more people are able to receive the care they need.
First impressions matter, and you can make your practice much more streamlined by simplifying your patient check-in and check-out processes. Consider how you can collect patient information in a quicker and more efficient manner, improving patients’ initial experiences and freeing up valuable staff time. Maximize each appointment and make minimizing downtime caused by no-shows a priority. Better still, do what you can to deter no-show appointments, such as utilizing automated systems (texts, emails, your patient portal) to send patient appointment reminders and offering flexible scheduling.
Capture all medical data through electronic means. This can make measurements more precise and make retrieving information later more streamlined. Ensure that your staff is well-trained on all their responsibilities and on performing them in a timely manner. Take steps to develop a team dynamic that allows the group to work together in tandem. For more information about ways to improve efficiency and maximize cash flow, give Aspen Ridge Medical a call. We offer consulting and utilization management services to help practices identify areas where efficiency can be improved.