We are not going on a limb by saying that the COVID-19 has had a HUGE impact on the medical industry. Many independent practices have been forced to close due to quarantines across the nation. Others have had to change how they operate in order to stay in business.
Before the pandemic one of your primary concerns was your revenue cycle management, or RCM. Now, during a pandemic that has altered the global economy, properly managing your RCM takes on added importance. Doing so will ensure that you have a steady stream of revenue coming in so you can pay your staff and your bills.
Let’s examine some ways that you can manage your RCM during the pandemic.
Stay On Top of Reimbursement
Even before the pandemic, ensuring that your practice was receiving reimbursement for services rendered should have been a key component of your RCM strategy. During the pandemic, when many businesses and individuals are struggling financially and other ways, making sure you get paid takes on extra importance.
Here are some tips that will help you get paid:
- Make sure you are using the correct billing codes
- Make sure your patients know what they will be responsible for
- Make sure you have a procedure in place to follow up with past-due billing
Ensuring that your practice gets paid for the care you provide is the number one way to manage your RCM.
If Possible, Allow Staff to Work from Home
The idea of remote work seemed foreign to much of our population prior to the pandemic. These days, however, you would be hard pressed to complete a conversation without the word “Zoom” being said at least once or twice.
If you have people on your staff who are responsible for billing and coding that do NOT have to be in the office to do their work, consider letting them work from home. Fewer people in your office means there is less risk of someone becoming sick. This will help both your staff and patients feel safer.
Work On Communication
Keeping everyone on the same page is a challenge, regardless if everyone is working in the office or from home. Proper communication amongst your team will help you stay on top of your reimbursements and allow your team members to work efficiently even while working remote.
This could include weekly meetings, an email check in where everyone shares what they are working on, or some other solution that works for your practice. The idea is to make communication and teamwork a central part of your operations during this pandemic and beyond.
Use Data to Make Smarter Decisions
The phrase “uncertain times” has been overused and become cliché at this point. That said, we are living through a period of time with a lot of uncertainty. This can make it hard for a business owner or manager to make decisions that could impact the future of their business.
If you find yourself struggling to make decisions for your practice, take time to look at your data to get a deeper understanding of what is happening in your business. Understand what types of patients you are seeing, how often are billing issues coming up, and how these numbers compare to previous years.
Being able to look critically at the numbers relating to your business will help you make smarter decisions because you have a deeper understanding of what is really happening.
This is an easy one. It does not matter what else you do to manage your RCM if you are putting yourself, your team, or your patients at risk. If in doubt, err on the side of caution.
After ensuring the safety of your team and patients, your next priority should be protecting the revenue you need to keep your practice running. The above steps will help your staff stay focused and motivated during a time when it is too easy for them to become frayed.