Many newer urgent cares—and even those who have years of experience—frequently discover their billing practices aren’t up to par. Their revenue streams suffer because of it. If your urgent care is experiencing some bumps in billing, you’re not alone.
First, re-examine if you should do billing in-house or if you’re better off hiring a billing company. In-house staff may seem more economical, but inexperienced coders who don’t understand your practice can quickly become detrimental. Another mistake can be lumping billing responsibilities in with other roles, like front desk staff. These individuals likely don’t know coding intricacies or stay up to date with code changes. On-site billers can also cause a backlog of claims if they leave or take vacations.
A billing company doesn’t necessarily guarantee better success—as some companies can cause more rejected claims or remove the transparency of your numbers. If you hire a billing company, ask for proof of success first. If you hire in-house billers, carefully choose and evaluate each candidate.
Second, if you are confident in your billers’ experience, perhaps it’s time to look at your registration process and clinical staff’s charting. Each of these can cause extreme delays in claim payments. Train front desk staff on how to verify insurance info during registration—and collect co-pays upfront.
Audit charts (an integrated EHR can make this an easy process) regularly to see what providers are entering for procedure codes—and see what missing documentation is causing incomplete charts. Proper training of administrative and clinical staff can vastly increase completed charts, more accurate claims, and faster reimbursements.
Billing is a completely different world from the practice of medicine. But both have to work together to be successful. Start with the right staff and couple that with proper training. Increased revenue should follow as a result.