A few ideas for improving physician practice cash flow
Filing claims and collecting co-pays promptly are keys to having a profitable practice. Is your practice attaining the benchmarks for filing claims and collecting co-pays? Office visits should be filed no later than the next day; for all other services – 5 working days. For every patient that can pay you $1.00 at the time of service, you should be collecting on 90% of these visits EVERY DAY.
Staying on top of the latest requirements for coding helps maintain positive cash flow. It’s amazing how many physicians lose money due to poor coding practices. Many don’t bill all of the services they are entitled to bill. Remember that Medicare coding practices do not stay "static" throughout the year - are you on top of any changes this year?
Practices that succeed in maintaining positive cash flow also tend to keep a close eye on expenses. Overhead should be lean and mean right now. However instead of nickel and diming your overhead, concentrate on how to improve your practice’s top line revenue.
Because of concern over physician fees, some doctors are reconsidering their participation in Medicare and reviewing other options such as cash-only practices. Look hard at your patient demographics and see what cash-paying services you can add to the practice. Aesthetic services are a good starting point. Also included here is continued participation in managed care plans – sometimes being an out-of-network provider is a good strategy to consider.