Most hospitals don’t have a bottom line. With no underlying goal or amount that hospitals are aiming to maintain or reach, the result can be costly – namely millions and millions of dollars lost through easy-to-fix mistakes. Establishing a bottom line can be achieved and will create not only a sense of accountability in the financial processes of your hospital, but also increase your long-term profitability. We recommend the following five steps to help you get there:
1. Cleaner Claims
Receiving accurate patient data is incredibly important to the patient administration process. In order to receive cleaner claims, it’s important that communication with both the patient and the physician is clear and effective. Make sure the diagnosis is correct and up-to-date as well as all other pertinent patient information.
2. Patient Payment Issues
An important aspect of communicating with patients is determining on a patient-by-patient basis what challenges, if any, stand in the way of a patient paying his or her bill. Better understanding a patient’s payment plan will allow you to determine whether or not Medicaid, charity care, affordable insurance, or other options are right for that patient and should be applied for.
3. Communication of Payment Expectations
Be proactive. Map out potential costs and expected payment amounts after insurance for each patient. Make sure every patient knows the amount they are expected to pay and in what form, timeline, etc. before leaving the hospital.
4. Asking for Payment Up Front
Another way to be proactive is by asking for payment up front. Before patient care begins, we recommend reviewing deductibles, co-pays, past-due debts, and deposits with each patient and asking them to pay beforehand to help reduce risk.
5. Service Excellence
Providing excellent service goes above and beyond in not only patient communication but in all areas of your hospital. Failing to receive high rating on patient surveys will also effect your Medicare reimbursement rates. Prioritize customer service. A good reputation and an increase in cash flow are sure to follow.