3 Revenue Cycle Strategies to Implement During the COVID-19 Pandemic
March 26, 2020
Cancelled elective surgeries and uncertainty about what tomorrow brings has many medical practices wondering how they will maintain cash flow. Focus on these three areas to bring in revenue while services are slow and poise the practice for increased collections when life gets back to normal.
1. Go after the unpaid A/R.
Too often the task of working unpaid A/R falls to the bottom of the to-do list. Now is the time to get all hands on deck to attack those old accounts. With a computer, internet connection and phone line staff can work accounts from home*.
As a reminder, insurance A/R includes denials plus the claims where the carrier has not responded. Consider the average time it takes for your payors to adjudicate a claim. For example, Medicare processes a clean claim in 14 days. So, staff should follow up on open claims starting at day 15. Use work queues in the practice management system to organize and prioritize the A/R, focusing on the oldest claims and highest dollar amounts.
2. Train staff on time-of-service collections and surgery deposits.
If your practice is not already collecting at the time of service for office procedures not covered by a co-pay, or if you do not have a solid patient financial counseling process in place to collect patient responsibility prior to surgery, now is the time to start training. A typical practice requires about four weeks of lead time to fully implement these patient collection protocols. Use this slow time to train and practice so when business gets back to normal, you’ll be ready. Download our free Ultimate Guide to Collecting at the Time of Service here to get started.
3. Pull current medical policies and update documentation templates.
Doctors help reduce denials when they know the payors’ medical policies and document according to the medical necessity criteria. The good news is most payor policies are publicly available on the web. Use this time to review the current medical policies and update the EMR template or dictation guide to prompt providers to address the pertinent issues. Do this and watch peer-to-peer reviews and denials decrease.
Review these past posts on the KZA Blog for additional revenue cycle tips:
10 Best Practices for Working Insurance Denials – March 6, 2019
Make a Plan for Proactive Patient Collections in 2019 – December 19, 2018
*KZA recommends establishing a Telework policy before allowing staff to access Protected Health Information (PHI) from a home environment. Use this sample Telework policy provided by the Medical Risk Institute to get started, and take all appropriate precautions to ensure the security and privacy of practice information and PHI.