Having a good billing process is vital to keeping an urgent care up and running, especially in the first year of operation.
Mistake 5 – Not Having a Billing Process Defined
For all the effort put into building a clinic, finding staff, and advertising, one important step often forgotten is the clinic’s billing process. Whether you do billing and claims processing yourself or a third-party company handles it, who does your billing is a crucial decision to the success of your urgent care. Billing controls your revenue stream, so it’s important to have timely reimbursements from payers (preferably in 90 days or less). Delays from payers or frequent mistakes in claim submissions can significantly impact your bottom line.
Start-up clinics often use revenue cycle service (RCS) providers so clinic staff can focus directly on patient care. When choosing an RCS company, look for one that has experience in the urgent care industry and offers a clear package or listing of what billing services it will provide. Services like taking patient phone calls and offering transparent billing data can save your clinic time and streamline management processes.
For clinics that choose to do billing “in-house”, a best practice is to hire dedicated billers and certified coders who can review claim submissions for accuracy and ensure proof of timely filing. This will save time and reduce back-and-forth claim rejections from clearinghouses. As clinic management, having access to accounts receivable is crucial as it allows you to see outstanding accounts—and where issues are occurring.
Bottom Line: Determine a billing process before opening, consider using a third-party billing company, and have access to accounting figures.
Does your urgent care do your own billing? Or do you hire a biller to complete your claims? The final mistake to avoid when opening an urgent care is coming soon.