Maximizing Your Practice’s Revenue: Top 5 Tips for Improving your Laboratory Billing Services
It is quite difficult to manage a smooth laboratory revenue cycle management to ensure financial stability during these challenging times. However, if your business operations are kept smooth and medical billing procedures are not prone to errors and mistakes then you can achieve your business success goals.
There are some essential steps that healthcare labs should take in order to mitigate the risks and ensure the stability of their finances. For that purpose, laboratory technicians should consolidate their laboratory billing services to speed up their claims processing and improve revenue collections.
Certainly, medical billing is a complex aspect of every other healthcare practice, and following up with insurance companies for payments makes it more difficult for lab technicians. Since the process is also time-consuming and requires great effort to ensure that claims are processed accurately and promptly.
Therefore, lab technicians have to go beyond their core responsibilities to make sure that they are getting their payments on time and compatible with their services. However, they can make their job easier by following the tips mentioned in this article;
Tips to Run an Effective Medical Billing Process
If you’re like most medical practices, you probably dread the time-consuming and complicated billing procedures. Especially, if you’re not using advanced medical billing and coding solutions. There are a number of following ways you can stay on top of lab billing challenges and keep your finances in good shape.
Establish a Collection Process to Streamline Laboratory Billing Services
Having a streamlined collection process in place allows medical practices to successfully run their healthcare revenue cycle management. Therefore, it is essential to make fundamental adjustments in your billing procedure to streamline your payment collections;
Here’s how you can streamline your collection process to ensure faster payments;
- Establish a well-defined payment policy and communicate it with the patients upfront. In this way, they can understand their financial responsibilities and pay their dues on time.
- Collect patient information accurately because any error in this data would abrupt your laboratory billing cycle down the line.
- Check, verify and update patient information regularly for changes.
- Regularly remind patients and payers about their financial responsibilities.
- Verify the patient’s insurance eligibility criteria as soon as the patient steps on your faculty for any service.
- If the patient’s insurance plan doesn’t cover your services then ask the patient for upfront payment collection.
Improve Appointment Scheduling
Definitely seeing more patients per day can lead to a significant improvement in your revenue. However, it also boosts the number of medical bills to be filed and submitted on time. Which can increase the work stress for your staff and make your healthcare revenue cycle management more prone to errors.
In order to smartly deal with these issues, you should schedule patient appointments efficiently beforehand. Here’s how you can smartly schedule patient appointments to avoid any conflicts later on.
- Try to accommodate your patient’s schedule.
- If a patient is only available on certain days then match the best suitable empty time slot from your schedule with the patient’s schedule.
- You can also deploy advanced mobile applications to ask patients to book appointments with you online.
- Scheduling back-to-back appointments also work best for a healthcare lab.
- Use an automated scheduling system that allows patients to choose their own appointment times.
- Send reminders to patients prior to their appointments to reduce the likelihood of canceling an not showing at your faculty at the scheduled time.
- Note down the appointment types (e.g. video visits, in-person visits, etc.)
Regularly Train Your Staff For Laboratory Billing & Coding Services
It’s no secret that medical billing and coding are the most complicated aspects of the healthcare practice. However, a lab technician can overcome these challenges with the help of well-experienced lab billing and coding specialists.
For that purpose, practitioners should hire medical billers and coders who have some experience in their field. Even after that, you have to make sure that your billing staff acquaints with the current updates and changes in billing guidelines and coding standards.
Since medical coding is an ever-changing aspect of the healthcare practice, therefore, keeping up with these changes is the fundamental requirement of laboratory billing and coding services.
Using outdated medical codes and following obsolete billing practices makes your claims end up in denial and rejection. Therefore, lab technicians should adopt the following measures to keep their billing staff compliant with the industry standards;
- Train your medical coding staff to adopt the latest codes and refer to new ICD and CPT requirements every time when CMS or WHO introduces new medical codes and billing guidelines.
- Make sure to apply the latest version of CPT, HCPCS, and ICD-10 codes that are recognized by your insurance payers.
- Your lab billing staff should be aware of all the resources that can help them bill and code more efficiently. It includes advanced medical billing software solutions, knowing all the CPT codes used for treatment and diagnosis, etc.
- Your medical billing staff is well-versed with the practice criteria of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS).
- Your lab staff is fully aware of the information required for the practice and they are eligible for CMS reimbursement plans.
Managing Insurance Claims Properly
It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is rapidly changing and it is becoming way more difficult to keep up with the latest trends in medical billing_ let alone managing a healthcare lab.
Hence, there’s only one way oto stay ahead of the curve and maximize revenue collection for your practice i.e. ensure that your medical claims are managed properly. There are some basic steps to make sure that your practice is getting the most out of laboratory billing and coding services;
- Deploy a systematic and organized approach to managing your claims.
- Keep the track of deadlines of each payer and submit your claims efficiently.
- Follow up with the outstanding claims to collect your reimbursements on time.
- Appeal denied/rejected claims in time to recover your reimbursements.
- Use and updated patient’s demographic information i.e. name, address, DOB (date of birth), ID number, etc.
- Collect accurate insurance provider information from the patient and verify it upfront i.e. contact information, name, address, policy ID, etc.
Minimize Coding Errors
As a healthcare lab, you mostly rely on coding to document details of the patient-provider encounter and get paid for your services. Therefore, a slight error in medical code can cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual revenue and sometimes make you face some legal consequences.
With such huge mistakes, it’s important to mitigate the chances of errors and mistakes in lab billing and coding procedures. Here’s how you can make sure that your claims are error-free and ready for reimbursement;
- Follow the latest billing and coding guidelines for laboratory billing services.
- Stay updated with the new codes and integrate them with your practice management systems.
- Double-check your medical bills before submission.
If managing all these tasks seems overwhelming to you then you can also consider outsourcing laboratory billing and coding services to a reliable medical billing company. CureCloudMD is a HIPAA-compliant medical billing company that offers the most reliable, well-secured and cost-effective laboratory medical billing services in the USA. Book your free demo now!