With technological innovations and digital advancements inevitable, it's important for healthcare professionals to stay up to date on the expected developments in 2018. After identifying major health and technology trends to keep an eye out for in 2018, leaders from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) of North America highlighted a common theme for the new year: patients will value a deeper connection between providers, information and technology. Plus, providers will begin to rely more heavily on technology and digital health solutions for data collection, cyberattack protection and increased ease and efficiency in patient care.
With a new year comes new insurance coverage for many patients. When resources and time are stretched thin, it's easy for some tasks to fly under the radar, like checking patient eligibility. However, to prevent delayed payments, each office should request insurance cards (and scan them) for any patient being seen for the first time in the new year. And, while you’re at it, be sure to double check and update demographic information, such as addresses, phone numbers, etc..
Inefficient upfront benefit verification processes open practices up to costly risks. Providing care to patients without the proper coverage will turn reimbursement into a considerably uphill, if not impossible, climb.
(Little Rock, AR – November 20, 2017) – MedEvolve, Inc., a national provider of practice management (PM), revenue cycle management (RCM) and analytics software and services for physician practices, announced today the company was named one of the Top 10 Medical Practice Management Solution Providers for 2017 by Healthcare Tech Outlook Magazine.
This recognition is very timely for MedEvolve as the company has invested a significant amount of time and resources to ensure MedEvolve Practice Management (PM) is best of breed. One of the main focuses of the company's development efforts has been building in more automation that helps practices run their businesses more efficiently. This new functionality includes features that capture payments and check eligibility in advance, or at the time of service, to prevent claim denials which slow down cash flow.
MedEvolve, Inc., a national provider of practice management (PM), revenue cycle management (RCM) and analytics software and services for physician practices, announced today the company’s bookings for third quarter fiscal year 2017 were the highest in its nearly 20-year history for the second quarter in a row. In addition to net new bookings in Q3, the company earned several MedEvolve Practice Management software and service renewals for two to three year commitments, which illustrates client loyalty and confidence as the company continues to launch market leading technology and services.
“The main catalyst for MedEvolve's recent success is our focus on providing data-driven solutions that give decision makers easy access to actionable financial and operational insights,” said Matt Rolfes, CEO of MedEvolve. “The opportunities of Big Data are not exclusive to larger organizations like hospitals and health systems, physician practices also need to leverage their data to find opportunity within their balance sheets and provide cash for growth.”
Check out our latest infographic which outlines the patient payment problem, best practices for patient account resolution and tips on how to improve collections at your practice.
As more of the financial burden of healthcare falls on patients, many are finding themselves underwater and unable to pay at the time of service. A consequence of this trend is rising patient debt, which is increasing exponentially. A 2016 survey from Physicians Foundation found that 40 percent of patients have medical debt. Unfortunately for providers, this creates a growing credit risk.
Practices must rethink their revenue cycle strategy as more financial responsibility is placed on the patient. Simply sending a bill after a patient visit, a standard practice for most providers, is becoming less and less effective. Statistics tell us that once a patient steps outside the office door after a visit or procedure, the balance due is not likely to be paid, now or ever.
With a greater portion of healthcare costs falling on the shoulders of patients, physicians are less likely to see the types of revenue streams they previously relied on. Unfortunately, reimbursements for medical services are not expected to increase, and are becoming more and more challenging to attain.
In the past, practices focused on increasing revenue to ensure financial success. Today, the focus must shift to decreasing cost—and therefore increasing margin. Physician practices cannot only rely on providing excellent care, they must also be business savvy and fiscally minded.
No specialty practice wants to sacrifice patient care to increase its margin. We know physicians need to spend more time with patients and less time on administrative functions to sustain a healthy business. According to InstaMed's 2016 Trends in Healthcare Payments Seventh Annual Report, the average physician spends 21 percent of their day on non-clinical adminstrative tasks. Outsourcing some administrative functions, like billing and collections, can help reduce the administrative burden and is often more cost-effective than hiring additional staff.
Maintaining provider income will continue to be a key priority for practices nationwide in these times of regulatory uncertainty. Answers to the revenue problem have never been simple, but now physicians must deal with increasing patient responsibility and decreasing payer reimbursement.
There's more to the issue than simply cost containment. Practices must adopt a holistic view of expenses and observe their cash flow closely so they can maintain–and possibly even increase–their revenue. Other means like diversifying service offerings and attracting more of the right patients will lead to more revenue for the benefit of all.
By being proactive and constantly vigilant, physicians ensure healthy revenue streams for themselves and their practices. When provider income stabilizes, practices are able to provide better services for patients.
In an article for Optometry Times, Dr. Justin Bazan, owner of Park Slope Eye in New York City's Brooklyn neighborhood, detailed how his office operates almost completely phone-free. This strategy won't work for every practice, but Bazan's reasoning is sound. He realized phone calls interrupted the patient experience, taking providers and other staff away from the people standing directly in front of them. Additionally, every call cost his practice money. In an industry where expenses are at an all-time high and collections are increasingly volatile, Bazan knew he had to cut costs wherever possible.
Specialty practices should consider how phone calls are impacting their patient experiences and their bottom line. Do you know how many calls your practice receives each month, and how much they cost? By reviewing your call frequency and duration, you might find every time someone answers the phone costs your practice as much as $20 in lost productivity and overhead expenses. Instead of spending time answering basic questions— the reason for most phone calls—your staff can attend to more patients, investigate payment issues and perform other tasks that increase revenue.
Important KPIs your specialty practice should measure and monitor on a regular basis—and how to calculate them.
Managing the revenue cycle at a specialty practice is challenging. To be successful, Billing Managers and Practice Administrators should monitor certain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to better understand how effectively they are managing the practice's revenue cycle—especially billing, collections and payers.
MedEvolve’s RCM team has identified seven measures a specialty practice should be familiar with to ensure maximum financial and operational performance. However, it’s not enough just to monitor these metrics, you must take action when an issue is identified to resolve it so it does not continue to impact your revenue.