So, you’ve opened a dental or medical practice and think you’re on your way to success. Well, that may be true, but there are a number of tips to be found that will help you achieve maximum profits right from the start. If you’re smart, you’ve surrounded yourself with like-minded people intent on making the practice a hit from the get-go. But, even with the best hygienists and nurses around, you still need help when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping. When it comes to the financial side of the house, it’s best to learn from the mistakes of others. Therefore, we’ve come up with the Top 5 Accounting Blunders That Every Healthcare Provider Should Avoid.
COMMUNICATION WITH PATIENT
Communication with the patient should be at the top of every office manager or owner’s mind. Finding out from the very beginning if they have viable insurance is imperative. It’s easy to ask patients if they have insurance, but checking with the insurance company to find out if the policy is in effect is even more important. Finding out if they have insurance when they call to make the appointment is a good idea, then checking it before the appointment occurs will help prevent headaches later on. According to a recent industry survey, 25% of practices never verify whether or not the patient is eligible to visit the doctor in question and verify what the co-pay amount is.
As soon as you have a diagnosis, gain prior authorization to make sure the treatment is covered. If it’s not covered by their insurance, have the office manager discuss with them different payment methods, healthcare credit options or payment arrangements that are available to them. Don’t assume that just because insurance doesn’t cover a procedure or medication that the patient wouldn’t be willing to find a way to make it happen.
This is a vital area for any company to focus on, especially small doctor and dentist practices. Remember, just because a claim is denied doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There should be in place a system for following up on claims, finding out why it was declined and then re-filed, adjusting coding as necessary.
TAX RETURN PREP
Just because you do your own taxes at home does not mean you should be doing your business’ returns yourself. This is definitely an area best left to the professionals such as Specialized Healthcare Accounting firms. Not only can they assist in tax return preparation, but they can also offer a number of other accounting services any medical office will need.
HIRING AN INSURANCE EXPERT
Perhaps the biggest mistake is allowing nurses or receptionists to learn on the job to become an insurance specialist. It’s not saying they can’t learn it, but hiring someone with recent experience in the field is far smarter and will bring better results. If you don’t have time to field the applicants, go through a staffing service. You’ll more than make up the money paid to them on correctly filed insurance claims.
By heeding these tips your new start-up medical tips in the accounting field, the office is sure to be a success. Don’t feel like you have to re-invent the wheel or do everything yourself. Hire the best possible firms and partners to help you get started and you’ll see the bottom line grow sooner and more profitably.