Use these billing and billing cycle tips to add to your bottom line, taking into consideration COVID concerns and the latest technology
As the U.S. battles through COVID quarantines and cautionary outings, more health care providers may be looking for tips of all kinds to help increase their revenue — if only to keep from losing revenue in the aftermath of shutdowns, closings and a slowly-starting-up economy.
Allen Conrad, DC, CSCS, owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Penn., as well as the Team Chiropractor for the Blackthorn Rugby Team, gave three options on how to use billing and the billing cycle to add to your bottom line.
Telehealth has allowed chiropractors to incorporate home postural exercises to a larger group of people. This is one way to increase your office revenue, as well as offer more services to your patients. Chiropractic care is changing with different home exercise innovations like telehealth postural analysts and stretching instructions, and these changes will change the way chiropractic moves forward with home exercise and self-home management.
With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, chiropractors are able to help people in pain with self-home recommendations and postural stretching techniques without having the patient leave home. This way, the patient can consult with the chiropractor about what injuries they are experiencing, and the chiropractor can demonstrate and explain through telehealth what exercises they can do while at home.
Should I use ice or heat? Should I rest? These are questions commonly asked after an injury, and telehealth has been a helpful way for patients to keep in contact with their chiropractor during the travel restrictions with COVID-19. Chiropractors who have an Adjunctive Procedures license are experienced in therapeutic exercises which can help not only relieve tight and painful muscles, but also help improve their posture.
Through telehealth, the chiropractor can help those who cannot travel to the office, and the patients can feel comfortable that their condition has been evaluated by the chiropractor, so that they do not make their condition any worse before they can return to the office.
Billing cycle: put together a monthly collections plan
When you submit a claim to an insurance company, the hope is that within 30 days it’s just paid. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and each state may vary on how long until payment is expected.
It’s important to have a plan like a claim submissions journal, so these submitted can be followed up in a timely fashion, which can improve the office revenue. Without a plan of follow up, claims can get overlooked, and there is no rhyme or reason to know where to start reviewing unpaid claims. Keep a log and keep track of 30, 60, and 90 days after claim submission dates for the billing cycle follow-up follow up to make sure the claim was received and when payment should be expected. This way, you can focus on faster submission times and keep an accurate account of unpaid claims
Know when to outsource chiropractic billing
If the time you spend on billing a week is affecting the quality of care you can offer patients, it may be time to outsource your billing.
It’s great to be busy — that’s the plan for any chiropractic office. But if the time you are spending trying to get previous claims paid is interfering with the time you can see new patients, it may be time to hire a billing company.
Billing companies for chiropractic offices are highly trained in monitoring and resubmitting claims and can streamline the process of the billing cycle and getting claims paid. Most companies can save you time and energy on the phone or computer, and they only get paid when the claim has been paid. This is important for a small office that has grown in size and has to incorporate ideas like a billing company so that the chiropractor can have enough time to spend with their patients each week. This will also increase the office revenue, and make time management more efficient.
Additional tips: modern payment options
While Joshua Conway, DDS, isn’t a chiropractor, he has incorporated two modern billing modalities to his private dental practice that can be used by DCs as well. Conway had added text-to-pay and online pay.
“I know of others who have incorporated a patient portal in order to allow for payment, but that was not a good fit for my practice,” he says. “Key features in evaluating alternative patient billing modalities include knowing your cost for your current billing processes, percentage of patient AR at 30, 60, 90 days, your current effective merchant rate, and the merchant rates and other costs of the associated billing protocols.”