Archive for October, 2011

Solving the Problem of Overdue Medical Bills

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

More medical practices get into financial trouble by not being able to collect receivables than for any other reason. This is why it is very important for any hospital or medical practice to have a good medical billing process and trained professionals in place to handle any issues. Many offices don’t follow common sense guidelines when dealing with billing, claims processing and collections. Without establishing the terms and policies regarding billing and payments with patients upfront, problems can occur later on.

Having a proper system or processes in place for medical billing and collections helps more than most people think. Many small practices just deal with issues as they come along and this hurts them in the long run. The chances of successfully collecting the payments are increased manifold when proper procedures are put in place. For example, policies need to be clearly expressed to the patient before any care if given. Patients need to be invoiced regularly and told clearly about the payment terms and are aware of what happens if they don’t pay on time.

If a patient does not pay after the deadline is over and after repeated reminders by office staff, then it may be time to take it to collections. Details would need to be handed over to the collection agency, which either work based on a flat fee or on a commission basis where they get a percentage of the payments they collect. It would be best, however, for  medical practices to outsource their billing to a more professional firm like Integrated Medical so that the office can focus on what they do best, providing patient care.

How Technology Has Improved Medical Billing

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Computer technology has had a major impact on the entire practice of medicine. From advanced scanning machines and bioengineering to electronic medical records, the world of medicine has transformed from a slow paper filled world to a quick and efficient electronic one. Below is a list of ways that the process of medical billing has changed since the inception of electronic computer based records.

The Old Way

  • careless errors were often made by hand on paper without any way to correct them
  • only a limited amount of information could be processed due to the limits of human calculations and fatigue
  • insurance claims would be rejected more often due to inaccurate paper work or from unfamiliarity with proper insurance procedures
  • lower numbers of patients being seen by doctors and nurses due to the time consuming process of filling out hand written records
  • things were hard to understand without lots of experience and access to a vast wealth of information that was not readily available

The New Way

  • Doctors, nurses and even patients can look at medical files from any computer terminal that allows remote access
  • Custom built programs can increase efficiency and care for specific types of practices
  • Medical offices can see more patients since less time is spent hand writing and submitting reports
  • A greater base of knowledge can be accessed to allow for more accurate record keeping and patient care
  • Offices can receive revenue more quickly and efficiently due to electronics based billing and offsite but on demand records management.

Best Practices for Medical Billing

Friday, October 14th, 2011

In order to maximize the inflow of cash into a medical office, it’s important to follow some basic rules and procedures to insure that insurance claims are properly fulfilled and patients pay on time. Integrated Medical Management offers a wide variety of services to help fulfill these goals. Their billing, scheduling and consulting services will allow your office to improve efficiency in patient care and increase the income your office needs to operate to the best of its ability. Consider a few of the following ideas for improving efficiency even more.

-Know the right ID’s. There are codes and identifications for almost everything in medical billing, and this will be even more true once new standards for recording medical ailments and conditions come to effect in October 2013.

-Verify eligibility before an appointment. Determine what kind of care is covered for patients by their insurance providers before they arrive at the office. This will increase efficiency and overall care for all patients once they physically arrive at the office.

-Check for mistakes. It takes a lot less time to double check your reports before you submit them than it does to fix them once they have already been processed.  Electronic form submissions have made it much easier to process paperwork, but mistakes can still be made at the doctor/nurse/patient level and it’s always best to recheck information in order to save potential time wasted in the future.

-Follow-up on submitted claims and bills. Sometimes things can fall through the cracks, even in an electronic billing environment. Allowing claims or bills to go unpaid will mean less money for the office and less care for the patients.

Scheduling Services for Medical Offices

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Maintaining efficient use of time in any medical environment can be a difficult task. Doctors, nurses and patients need to be properly coordinated in order to maximize the qualitative and quantitative care given to patients. Creating this efficiency requires comprehensive scheduling solutions that allow for the most effective use of office personnel at all times. Many companies try to sell independent software that can be used in the office to keep track of scheduling, but an Integrated Medical Management solution may be a better choice.

Integrated Medical Management has the ability to manage your office scheduling with services including surgery and anesthesiologist scheduling, timely provider notification of changes, point systems availability and remote access. This integrated medical management solution will allow your office to run smoothly and maximize patient care without having to worry about the maintenance of onsite software or taking up the valuable time of medical office employees.

Scheduling services can be especially helpful to doctors who find that they are working between different offices or clinics. Remote access to scheduling can allow them to coordinate patients and services across multiple offices and clinics, making health care better for the patient and for the doctor. With the help of online scheduling, medical office staff can easily manage doctor’s appointment schedules, patient records and individual appointments. This will ultimately lead to better patient care and a more efficient and successful medical practice.