For Best Results, Your Staff and Revenue Cycle Management Vendor Need to Work Together

Workplace automation is everywhere. Over the last ten years, self-service machines have become the norm. From grocery stores to airports, it’s easier to check out your groceries, or check-in for flights online than to wait for a member of the staff for assistance. The healthcare industry has seen many examples of automation. Today, robotic surgery systems are commonplace and AI is aiding doctors in the diagnostic stages of treating patients. It’s no wonder that some healthcare office workers fear automated systems could one day replace their jobs. 

Medical billing is challenging. On any given day, office staff can spend hours on a single task. However, the aim of healthcare revenue cycle management is not to replace staff. Instead, the goal is for office staff to spend more time on high-value patient-centric tasks that increase customer satisfaction and patient retention. While the office staff is spending more time on valuing your patients’ time and experience, a revenue cycle management partner is quickly covering the cost of their partnership and adding to your practice’s profit by the increased revenue of their work on reducing denials, working all denials, coding trend monitoring, increasing claims payment turnaround time, among many more activities.   

With a healthcare revenue cycle management company as your partner, time-consuming and detail-oriented tasks are on their shoulders to complete and only come to you for strategy and approvals. Office staff are now free to focus on areas that typically cause stress and frustration for patients, tasks that are simply done better with a human touch. These include:

  • collecting patient and insurance information, 
  • confirming eligibility before the appointment, 
  • asking about a patient’s primary and secondary coverage, 
  • ensuring patients are aware of their financial responsibility, 
  • and floating options for payment plans. 

These tasks require empathy and the kind of thinking that automated systems aren’t able to replicate. 

When asked about the role of humans in healthcare, many medical industry experts share the opinion that technology’s role is to complement, not replace. Emerson Dameron, content marketing manager at Neoteryx — a remote blood collection technology company — agrees. 

“In order to break through, new medical technologies must fit into a more patient-centered model of healthcare. They must empower patients. At its best, technology can do that. But in order to have positive patient experiences, they must also feel safe and supported, and that’s what human caregivers will always do best.”

Like any industry, in 2020, healthcare providers need to keep up with patients who expect personalized services and seamless interactions. Achieving high patient satisfaction is an essential aspect of running a successful healthcare practice. To accomplish this, every employee should think of themselves as a customer service representative. 

Research also reinforces the need to pay attention to the needs of each patient. One study analyzed over 34,000 patient reviews of their physicians and found that 96% of bad reviews came down to poor customer service. The research found that while patients could tolerate potentially bad or surprising medical results, they could not tolerate surprises elsewhere in their healthcare experience. Partnering with a revenue cycle management company can significantly improve the patient experience. When office staff have more time, and the tools to make onboarding, rebooking, and other communication tasks smoother, overall patient satisfaction will grow.

With a focus on customer satisfaction, other areas of the business that cost healthcare practices time and money can be left to automation to improve. One such area that office staff spend a lot of time on is claims denial management. Every denied claim costs healthcare practices an average of $25 to rework–preventing denials from happening is critical to the practices’ health. Office staff can work with their revenue cycle management providers in the following areas: 

  • Gathering patient information before a patient arrives for an appointment. 

A stress-free onboarding process can help increase patient satisfaction and retention. Verifying patient information before a patient’s appointment helps reduce denied claims due to incorrect or missing data.

  • Verifying insurance eligibility and benefits. 

Around 33% of all denied claims are due to errors in registration and eligibility and services not covered. A revenue cycle management company works to reduce denials by checking eligibility and benefits before the patient utilizes any services.

  • Collecting payments when the patient checks in.

Office staff can make a habit out of discussing fees upfront with patients. Patients today value transparency and want to know how much they owe and that they can cover the bill. 

  • Consistently checking-in with patients regarding billing. 

By discussing payments upfront, staff can reduce the risk of patients with outstanding balances. Even so, there may be patients that are surprised by an unexpected bill. Office staff should be proactive about initiating a phone call with patients who have outstanding balances and offer flexible payment options. This will help patients feel seen while guaranteeing your practice receives payment of the services rendered. 

  • Tightening up credentialing issues. 

Managing provider credentialing across multiple payers can be a nightmare and take a lot of time. Finding a dedicated partner for this area will not only help to prevent denied claims from happening, but office staff will regain a significant amount of time from an area that while important, does little to improve overall patient satisfaction. 

A revenue cycle management company should work to remove time-consuming, detail-oriented tasks from office staff. At Health Revenue 360, LLC, whether you require a credentialing service or you need to see a claim through to the end of the billing process, we perform as a seamless extension of your office and allow for more time spent on the things that matter — caring for your patients. Contact us today to get started with our team of experienced medical billing and coding professionals.