Has your production income dropped? It’s probably time to look into your practice’s billing department and have a chat with your accountantant to run some numbers.
Dental and medical office owners should review their financial statements with their accountants to compare production income of previous months along with previous year of such months and look out for any decline in income. If in fact there is a decline in income then it’s time to have a meeting with the billing staff. Make sure claims are not being denied or rejected.
Some reasons why claims are denied or rejected:
- Incorrect information on claims and improper coding.
- Information on claim does not match patient’s info.
- Claims are not being appealed accordingly to Explanation of Benefits
- Providing services without the proper authorization will cause the claim to be rejected.
Three basic steps to improve the billing department:
Doctor – Staff Meeting. Schedule a meeting with the officer manager, receptionists and billing staff to review patient files and claims, and discuss ways to improve billing and reduce errors. Everything starts from the front (receptionists) when they take down information, to office manager and billing.
Incentives. Offer performance incentives/bonuses to key employees that are responsible for generating income for your office. Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of you.
Invest in practice management software. Find the best Electronic Health Records (EHR) system for your practice based on actual and desired needs. The EHR software should adapt to the billing system you use which can provide comprehensive functions including:
- Patient demographics
- Charge entry
- Electronic/paper claims submission
- Payment entry for all payers
- Account reconciliation
- Claims question assistance for patients
- Patient collection
This is only basic information regarding billing departments for dental/medical offices. I am not a specialist in billing and coding but I do the accounting for the dental/medical industries, and can provide insight from the accountant’s prospective.