Efficient and effective revenue cycle management (RCM) is the key to a profitable medical practice. Unfortunately, while many physicians are exceptional at providing care for patients—evaluating symptoms, diagnosing problems, and finding appropriate treatments—not everyone is good at RCM. As the owner of small or independent practice, you have to be both a great provider and a good businessperson.
If you are struggling with low collection rates, here are some of the things you might be getting wrong in the process.
1: Thinking of revenue cycle management as an isolated medical billing issue.
Many clinicians believe that revenue cycle is solely a problem with medical billing and that fixing it means correcting some issues in that department. Medical billing is actually only a small slice of the entire RCM pie. Properly managing your revenue cycle means understanding how each aspect of your practice, from scheduling and patient check-in to EHR, provider documentation, and coding, through to medical billing and collections all play a role in the process. Certainly, if you have an issue in your medical billing department you should fix it, but don’t believe that RCM rests entirely on that.
2: Leaving the revenue cycle management entirely to your office manager.
No matter how competent your office manager, he or she cannot optimize your revenue cycle management without the full engagement and involvement of all the physicians at your practice. One of the best things you can do is set up weekly or bi-weekly meetings that involve your office manager and physicians. Depending on the size of your practice, you may also want to involve a supervisor from your medical coding and billing team. Those meetings present an opportunity to review:
- Total billings
- Total collections
- Total revenue
Regular meetings also allow you to review reports and identify trends in your collections, which can help you spot issues before they create a significant drag on your finances. Even minor disconnects between providers and office managers can multiply over time until it becomes a severe loss of revenue that maybe could have been prevented if it was addressed sooner.
Strong leadership from physicians and providers is critical to ensure the entire staff is on board with the workflows and processes required to capture as much revenue as possible.
Learn How You Can Start Improving RCM
In part two of this blog post, we’ll cover two additional mistakes practices make that lead to lower collections.
The first step toward better revenue cycle management is being aware of the issues and finding effective solutions. AdvancedMD offers a suite of integrated practice management software solutions that can help you stay on top of RCM and start improving collection rates today.