4 Charlesview Road, Suite 4, Hopedale, MA 01747
(508) 422-0231 Consulting Services
(508) 422-0233 Account Matters
Are You Getting the Most Out Of Your
As a consultant, private practice owners frequently ask me why they can’t get the information they need to run their business out of their billing system. After all, that is the reason they bought it.
Let’s review what typically happens. You decide after reviewing several billing systems to invest in one. It is straightforward, perfect for your practice, appears easy to use and the reports it can produce are just what you’re looking for – it will simplify your life and stop the manual tracking of stats. After the purchase, you arrange for your office manager and/or billing staff to sit and go through the training program. Once the system is set up and you begin entering patients and begin to enter charges and process claims all is well – GREAT – now you can get paid.
Not so fast…..problems occur and you check with tech support who fixes your problems and once again billing is going out and you begin to get paid for services rendered. At month end you expect to be able to print reports that will tell you how you did that month. You expect to look at accounts receivable reports, productivity reports, referral reports, monthly collection reports, cancellations, no shows, discharges, and a host of others. Problem is you don’t get them all – your staff says it’s not possible to get all that from one system. You find that the staff is taking the same amount of time or more -than before you got the new billing system - to get you the stat information you need. Well, if the truth be known, I’d bet they are still gathering data manually. Why, what happened?
First question – did you take the time to get in on the training from the beginning? Who was there to monitor the staff and insure that they understood all aspects of the training and continually took it to another level? Were you or they taught what questions to ask to insure that your system was being maximized? It may not be necessary for you to know the system inside and out, however, you must know what its capabilities are in order to know if you are getting what you paid for. You must insure through your billing system and outside consultants that your staff is thoroughly trained and that they clearly understand how to bill specifically for your practice. That they insure correct reimbursement and collect on accounts. They must insure that you are consistently in compliance and can run reports that dictate how the business is doing in order to get a return on your investment. You need to make sure your staff is maximizing your system by setting the standards for accountability.
How do we get there? Training, training, training. When you work with a billing system, the first thing you want to accomplish is getting patients registered and getting the bills out on paper or electronically. Once that is accomplished the training needs to continue to include making sure that all information in the system is filled in so that associated reports can be generated – good info in good info out. You want to insure that payments and adjustments are posted appropriately and that you are properly reimbursed for your services.
Advanced training will include all aspects of the system such as shortcuts and reports that can be printed daily, weekly and monthly thus allowing you to manage referrals and authorizations, co-pays, cancellations, no shows, provider productivity, accounts receivable and all aspects of billing and collections. You’re goal is to be able to manage through outcome reports. You need to ask the right questions and know what answers are acceptable and which ones are not. This can only be accomplished by maximizing your system.
If you are not getting what you want out of your billing system, it may not be the system, it may be a lack of training. Maybe it’s time for a complete check-up! Give us a call.
Diane McCutcheon, President
DM Business Management Consulting Services, Inc.
Account Matters – Billing & Collection Services
4 Charlesview Road, Suite 4
Hopedale, MA 01747
P: 508-422-0231 F: 508-422-0234