7 Ways How Outsourcing RCM Improves Your Patient Retention
The revenue that your practice generates is one of the key indicators of the success of your practice. If most of your revenue is tied up in overdue bills and rejected or denied claims, then your practice isn’t doing as well as it should be. This is not a problem just for the financial and business team of your practice, but also an issue for you as it affects patient retention and engagement negatively.
Your patients need to feel welcomed and heard but if your staff is overwhelmed by the backlog of all claims, they may not be able to provide that environment for the patient. This is why it is often recommended to get professional help for the management of your revenue cycle and medical billing process. Apart from the very obvious benefits of outsourcing RCM, there are quite a few benefits related to patient retention and engagement at your practice. These benefits are discussed below.
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Providing Free Time to Your Staff
Running a successful practice requires your staff and management teams to feel relaxed and supported by the higher-ups. These are the people who are dealing with the patients that come to your practice, which is why it is important that they are in a pleasant mood and not overwhelmed with the amount of work at hand. Overworking your staff is not recommended as it reflects poorly on your practice, especially to new patients.
Reducing the workload on your staff means that your staff now has free time that can be fully dedicated to the new and existing patients. This free time also gives your staff the time to provide the information that patients require, either via telephone or in-person. Free time for your staff along with reduced workload improves morale in the office which will reflect positively on your practice. All this can be achieved when you outsource administrative burden to a billing partner such as Practolytics.
AR Calling, Training and Management
When you outsource RCM services to a vendor with professionals such as Practolytics and AdvancedMD, AR management will be one of the perks you receive. These vendors focus on reducing AR days with appropriate protocols for follow up and timely use of collection agencies. One of the key aspects of AR management is calling the insurances and patients, to check with them why a claim was denied.
Calling patients specifically can pose quite a few challenges, mainly because these calls can come off as harsh and lacking empathy. These can cause the patient to feel like they do not matter and are a pure business transaction, hence, reducing retention. However, outsourcing AR management and patient collections to Practolytics would mean that your staff can focus on patient needs and improve patient experience at the practice.
Improved Patient Information
Outsourcing to Practolytics facilitates easy exchange of patient information and real-time updates through electronic medical records software. The software streamlines the process of information collection, meaning that you never have to worry about missing or incomplete information about the patient once they have left your office. Updated patient information without the need for frequent follow up demonstrates a level of efficiency that is quite critical for the practice. The need to contact patients for additional information is lessened, thus improving patient satisfaction and retention. This also increases the likelihood of your practice being referred by a patient to their near and dear for their medical needs.
HIPAA Compliance and change in focus of accountability
Outsourcing RCM has its own pros and cons. One of the biggest concerns with outsourcing is HIPAA compliance as a lot of sensitive patient information is exchanged between entities. This information is confidential and protected by HIPAA laws, meaning that if you outsource to a vendor that isn’t compliant with HIPAA laws, you expose your practice to several data vulnerabilities.
Outsourcing to Practolytics, a HIPAA compliant vendor, means that your patients’ information will be treated with utmost privacy and security. Information will be regularly updated and used in claims submission but the data will be protected in a manner that reduces the possibility of a breach. This respect for patient privacy is highly appreciated by all patients, hence, improving patient retention.
Handling Denials and Audits
Outsourcing RCM services provides increased focus on accountability for denials due to coding and billing errors. If your practice constantly faces claim denials as a result of coding or billing errors, then your practice is at risk of losing money and also being audited externally. This is a poor representation of your practice and patients are likely to not want to stick around. However, when the process is outsourced, the accountability falls on the vendor and reduces your risk of audits and enhances collections upfront.
Effective Patient Engagement and Feedback Review
Patient engagement is crucial for your practice’s success because that is what determines patient retention. If the patient doesn’t feel heard or understood, they will not engage and provide their feedback. It is this feedback that allows you to improve patient care at your practice. The main cause why the patients would feel neglected is if the staff wasn’t able to listen to them and build a rapport with them due to a clear lack of time. Outsourcing RCM services gives your staff enough time to listen to the patients and address their concerns in a timely manner.
Answering Patient Questions
Patients aren’t always insured and may need to pay for some services themselves. These payments, especially at the time of sickness can prove to be quite a challenging and confusing task for your patients. It is important for them to feel open enough with your staff to ask any question regarding the payments. Your staff should also be able to answer all these questions, in a kind and empathetic tone. The tone of the answers is even more important when these questions are being asked by patients on a phone call.
Answering their question in a way that provides solutions to patients without making them feel bad or awful about the situation is the easiest way to improve patient retention. The sensitivity training is often provided by the vendors you outsource to, or you can provide it yourself with all the free time you have. Educating patients by simply answering their questions may seem simple, but is key to patient retention. Team at Practolytics carries vast experience in handling patient calls and answering their questions whether its related to the payment advise they receive from the insurances or whether its related to their co-pays and any other aspects that they would want to ask the practice.
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