Maintaining the revenue of a health or medical practice is far more complex than most people expect. In Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), there are different departments that need to work efficiently in order to maximize revenue from patient billings.
FQHCs should therefore implement effective billing policies and procedures, while applying strategies in order to lower costs, increase revenue, and improve patient satisfaction and care. To maximize revenue, FQHCs can apply the following patient billing strategies.
Having a clear understanding of the overall cycle of revenue is very important in improving FQHC billing processes so that they function effectively. Many health facilities consider the submission and the subsequent payment of claims as the actual billing process when actually all the staff members in the health center play a very vital role.
Billing should begin when a patient books an appointment and end once the patient has been attended to and makes the payments. A FQHC should therefore establish proper billing process channels that include patient registration, charge entry, payment posting and the follow up on accounts receivable.
It is very critical during the FQHC billing process that the staff collect and enter accurate information regarding demographics and insurance once the patient visits the health center. For first time patients, the health center should have their insurance information, birth dates, telephone numbers and home addresses for effective billing. If the patients have been treated in the health facility before, the receptionist should ensure that the information is accurate upon the arrival of the patient.
Another strategy for improving FQHC billing for maximized revenue is by reconciling encounter forms with appointment schedules every day. This ensures that for each patient that gets attended to, a charge corresponds. The sum of the charges on the encounter forms must then be reconciled daily in the reports that the management system generates.
By doing this, the health facility should be able to track encounter forms that might be missing, hence ensuring that revenue is maximized. This FQHC billing strategy will help prevent the loss of revenue through nursing home and health center visits. One way of capturing all charges is by using preprinted index cards that physicians carry.
FQHC should ensure that they update their fee schedules annually. To maximize revenue, realistic charges should be set for all codes. By so doing, it will ensure that all reimbursements are achieved. The fees charged should be compared with other contracted or Medicare fees charged by health center billing services. Insurance companies tend to pay lower than the contracted or billed amount. This means that billing lower than the amount contracted will result in the health facility losing revenue.
In order to maximize revenue, a FQHC should communicate to all the patients its billing and financial policies. It could use, for instance, a single page document that summarizes its financial policies.
This document should then be signed by each patient and placed inside his file. The document should explain the terms of payments, authorizations, and insurance information, collection and cancelation policies. There are more strategies to imporve medical billing procedures for FQHCs, but start with these strategies to get an established system in place that will keep your FQHC financially healthy.continue...
There is no denying the fact that the specter of staff cuts and limited budgets looms large over many health centers. Many of them are found with no other option but to cut down on employee strength who are working on important projects.
It is now becoming quite common for many employees doing multi-tasking which in turn affects the overall reputation and goodwill of the health centers. There are many staff members who spend more time sorting out insurance claim of patients though their main job is to take care of the patients.
As a result, it is very important to find out ways and means by which health centers can generate more revenue and at the same time keep the quality of customers services unhampered.
One of the simplest ways to generate more revenue for such health centers is to ensure that the staff duties are allocated properly so that there is increased efficiency at all level. Duplication of work could be a big impediment to productivity and this should be avoided at all costs.
However, at the same time it is also extremely important that the employees are not overburdened with repetitive and unproductive tasks. The onus lies on the managers to find out ways and means by which the staff are made to do work that will directly and positively impact the revenues of the company rather than keeping them engaged in mundane tasks which could kill their time and also their zeal to perform better.
The medical billing process for health centers is something that occupies lot of time and effort. According to many studies, health center billing occupies almost 50% of the man hours and also contributes to a big size as far as salaries and other recurring expenses is concerned.
A better option would be to enter into some strategic partnership with a third party medical billing service provider and see that costs are reduced without efficiency of services being compromised in any manner. You can learn more from this trusted provider of health center billing services at www.MaximizedRevenue.com.
While readmissions cannot be completely ruled out, as far as medical centers that are run on grants and funding are concerned, it always makes better sense to restrict readmissions to the maximum extent possible. This would call for following the right post-care or post-treatment regimens where there regular contact with the patient and regular counseling that is given.
This certainly could go a long way in saving thousands of dollars. However, the health care center should know where to draw a line between real needs for readmissions or looking at other options. Learn more about readmissions and the Readmission Reduction Program at www.CMS.gov.
When health care centers are facing fund crisis, then the best way forward would be to look at ways and means by which revenue can be augmented. This could include adding new streams of services.
For example, even today many such centers do not have orthopedic services being offered to patients. This can be tried out because it is a very profitable line of service and there is a continuous demand for the same. There are a lot of funding opportunities worth exploring at bphc.hrsa.gov the official site of the Bureau of Primary Health Care of the Health Resources and Services Administration.continue...
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