KICK THESE 6 HABITS FOR BETTER COLLECTIONS & A REVVED-UP REVENUE CYCLE

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  1.  NOT FILING SECONDARY CLAIMS

A recent Greenway Health survey showed that 59 percent of secondary claims are never filed. If 20 percent of a claim is paid by secondary insurance, multiply that portion of the fee by how many patients with secondary insurance you see per year to calculate the long-term hit to your revenue.

  1.  UNDERCHARGING

Charge what you’re worth today – not 10 years ago. Review the data for providers in your area and see what the going rates are for your most common procedures. If you’re not on par with what the market is seeing for your top 5-10 procedure codes, it’s time to make some adjustments.

  1.  NOT FOLLOWING A COMMUNICATION PLAN

That same Greenway Health survey found that 68 percent of patients do not receive collection letters from their care providers. If your practice doesn’t have a streamlined collections process in place, you could end up footing the bill. Develop a clear communications plan and collection resolution strategy and follow it. Examine what is currently being done and change what needs fixing; tweak what could stand to be improved; and continue to integrate the processes that work.

  1.  NOT PROACTIVELY NEGOTIATING PAYER FEE SCHEDULES

When is the last time you reviewed and/or tried to work with your most commonly submitted to payers to negotiate your payer fee schedules? Similar to undercharging, if you’re leaving money on the table by neglecting to negotiate payer fee schedules for your practice regularly, you’re doing your business and your team a disservice.

  1.  USING MANUAL BILLING & ATTACHMENT PROCESSES

Manual, paper-based processes cost you money. As averse as your staff may be to change, you should be more averse to the money it’s costing your practice to print and mail things like claims and supporting documentation. Staff salaries alone can consume up to 25 percent of practice revenue, so why wouldn’t you want to put those salaries to work in the most efficient manner possible? By providing teams with more efficient, electronic tools that not only make their work day easier, but also, keep the claims process flowing and the revenue cycle cranking along for the entire business, you can all improve the practice’s claim adjudication process. Remember, less time spent on paperwork, means more time spent on other revenue generating activities for the practice.

  1.  NOT TRAINING YOUR TEAMS PROPERLY

Dental practices, in general, have a good bit of turn-over among staff and when that happens, it’s easy to fall behind on training everyone – existing team members and new ones – on procedures like general phone etiquette, case acceptance conversations, collections processes, HIPAA compliance and more. Set aside time each week to have a 15-20-minute huddle to review a topic of importance with your teams. Remind them that you’re available and open to them asking questions. New hires especially, can often feel intimidated and many would rather do something wrong than ask for help. Remove the stigma of asking for help and create a culture of open dialog around team training and you’ll see better results.