Revenue Cycle Management – How To Positively Increase Your Practice Receivables And Cash Flow
Posted: Jun 26, 2014
A private medical practice is a business. Like most business owners, physicians want to be paid. Also like most business owners, they have to pay their staff; they have to pay for their office and medical supplies; they pay for their in-office utilities, and in instances where they do not own the building where they are practicing; they are paying a monthly rent or lease fee. They rely on receiving payment for services rendered, not only to make a profit, but to pay for their business expenses.
Newer physicians are relying on their receipt of timely payments in order to pay off their massive student loans, which unfortunately, became due as soon as they began practicing. Whether a business owner is providing a service and/or a product, you agree that they should be paid, right? So why are practice owners, whom are physicians that own their own business, having such a difficult time getting paid?
Both medical practices and hospitals alike are facing challenges in receiving payment. As the cost of healthcare continues to climbs, third-party payouts and reimbursements are decreasing significantly. Self-pay options have increased, which seems to be a growing trend, and the wave of our future.
Many privately owned hospitals and medical practices have begun implementing strategies to encourage a more positive revenue cycle. In today’s economic environment, having effective revenue cycle management (RCM) is more important than ever. Taking advantage of cloud-based technology developments and practice management applications, offers an effective solution in optimizing your profitability.
Medical Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) are terms used to describe a process in healthcare services from beginning to end, without neglecting all that is needed in between. Within a hospital setting there are many departments that must collaborate in this process, but the headliner is the Central Business Office (CBO). In either case (private practices or hospitals), RCM should begin with the very first phone call. Scheduling, charting, and following up are all key components in creating a positive cash flow.
A detailed list of RCM activities should include:
- Appointment scheduling
- Authorization and Pre-authorization management
- Time of Service Payments
- Collections and payment posting
- Denials and appeals
- Account Follow-up
- Financial counseling
Effective collections and third-party reimbursements thrive on follow through and organization. It is essential that all medical providers, whether in a hospital setting or performing services in a private practice setting, established record keeping procedures or take help from Medical Billing Services provider. An organized process for which these procedures are carried out could essentially be the key to "make or break", your practice and/or hospital system. Most importantly however, always follow-up and always follow-through.
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