Productivity

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Billing and Collections is a Team Effort!

Rub employees the right wayIf you want your billing and collections to be as smooth and effective as possible, it must be a team effort.  It can’t be up to just a couple of people and it definitely can’t be a blame game.

Practices are overwhelmed with phone calls, paperwork, pre-authorizations, and patient care.  Sometimes the ‘paper’ things can fall through the cracks.  It is these things that end up snowballing and result in more work, frantic calls and denied claims.

Here are some tips that will help smooth out the process.  They may seem insignificant or deemed to be more trouble than they are worth.  But, in the long run, if everyone on the team does their part, it means less clean-up work, less stress, and faster payments.

The collection process starts BEFORE the patient shows up for their appointment.

  1. If the patient is new to the practice send a welcome packet with all of the paperwork that they need to complete.  Sending it before the appointment helps to ensure they will have all of the correct information.
  2. If they are established patients then remind them to bring their current insurance card.
  3. On the day of the visit, ask to see a copy of the patient’s insurance card.  Too many times this step is either omitted or the staff will just ask if anything has changed.  Most patients will automatically say no simply because they don’t remember.  Insurance plans change more frequently these days, so it is best to verify and update all information at every visit.
  4. Make sure that the name on the insurance card matches exactly to what is entered in your practice management system.  Mis-spellings, missing middle initials, and typographical errors will all result in denied claims.
  5. Collect all outstanding patient balances before the patient goes into the exam room.
  6. Make it as easy as possible for patients to pay their deductibles, copay or self-pay payments.  Allow payments via credit cards, patient portals, mobile devices, and paper checks.
  7. Train select employees to set up payment plans for those patients that can’t pay their portion of the bill in full.  Make sure your back office or billing company knows of these payment plans so they can track compliance.
  8. The billing staff or company can’t bill and collect if charges aren’t submitted.  Make sure that charges are submitted daily.  There should be a check and balance to ensure that a charge was submitted for every patient that had an appointment that day.
  9. Make sure that coding is accurate.  Do you have the correct modifier?  Are the number of units correct?
  10. Make sure the pre-authorization/referral matches the service and the date of service exactly.  Make sure the information is noted on the claim.

When everyone on the team takes their part of the billing and collection process seriously things will go much smoother.  The practice will see an increase in revenue and the staff won’t struggle with clean-up work.  That is a win for everyone.

Rub Employees the Right Way

Rub employees the right way

Rub employees the right wayAppreciate your staff

Employers want staff to know they are appreciated and want to rub employees the right way.  Yet, finding the right way can be challenging.  Literally thousands of articles have been written about incentive pay, exotic trips, and lavish parties.  Small businesses find it difficult to give the employees the time off and pay for such benefits.  The challenge is coming up with something that works for everyone.

Onpoint Medical Solutions was looking for ways to reduce employee stress, show employee appreciation and increase staff job satisfaction.  They decided to offer an in-office benefit to literally rub employees the right way.  You’ve likely seen this service at major airports.  According to an article in the Seattle Times, massage reduces stress, lessens anxiety and increases happiness.  So, if it works for travelers then why not for employees?

Onpoint Medical Solutions took this idea and ran with it.  They contracted with a local massage therapist to come to the office at a set time and provide neck, shoulder, and back massages.  The massage therapist brings a portable massage chair, sets up in an office, and provides 10-15 minute massages for anyone who wants one.  The company pays for the massage therapist’s time and does not dock their pay during their massage.

The beauty of this is that employees don’t have to leave work, it’s convenient and the company has negotiated a fixed price.  Everyone wins!  Sometimes employers unintentionally upset staff. Here is an easy way to rub employees the right way and let them know that you appreciate everything they do.  This is a great way to acknowledge that they are major contributors to the success of the company.  Happy employees are what every company wants.

 

Increase Productivity with Paint

Increase productivity through color

A Simple Idea to Increase Productivity

There are many articles about how to increase productivity.  Most managers read these articles and then try several.  After all, everyone wants to increase staff’s productivity, as well, as their own.  What works?  Is it a bonus, movie tickets, gym memberships, training opportunities or better equipment?  Maybe, but recently an interesting article about increasing work productivity came across my desk from a very unusual source – Elle Decor.

Color psychology is the study of hues as a determinant to behavior.  But have you thought of using color to increase productivity in the workplace? According to the article, color can impact employees to motivate, energize, enhance creativity and foster communication.  All you have to do is determine how you want to impact the staff and then pick the corresponding color.  Take a look a this article and maybe, just maybe, the color you pick will have a positive impact on your office setting.

Happy Employees = Healthy Profits

Happy employees can increase profit.  Many practice owners and managers assume that the key to productive staff is more money but that is only part of the story.  A study conducted at the University of Warwick [1] found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.

The growing body of research around employee happiness and the link to profitability is persuasive.  It is simple – positive and happy staff are engaged, productive and committed to creating a positive environment.  Happy employees will result in less turnover, fewer patient complaints, increased productivity, lower error rates, better teamwork, and less stress which all lead to increased profits.

Creating a workplace filled with happy people isn’t all about salary increases.  In fact, a 2016 Gallup poll of more than 1 million employed U.S. workers concluded the number 1 reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss.  So, don’t start thinking that you can make people happy and more productive if you give them more money.

Instead here are 5 things you can easily do to change the happiness level in your employees and improve your bottom line.

  1. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Broken promises will undermine trust.
  2. Provide consistent feedback. Use feedback as a teaching tool and deliver it objectively and fairly.
  3. Respect the skills that each employee brings to the practice. Ask them what is a better more efficient way for them to do their job and make sure you provide the best tools for them to accomplish what needs to be done.
  4. Share your dreams and goals for the practice. Your goals make their job safe.  People want to see the big picture and want to be involved.
  5. Positive feedback about a job well done, goals met or increased productivity will go a long way. Engaged employees are self-motivated to go above and beyond but they won’t do it day-after-day without some recognition.

[1] Oswald, A.J., Proto, E., and Sgroi, D. 2014: Happiness and Productivity. University of Warwick.