By Bruce Gehring, Allegiance Group
Are you struggling trying to collect your private pay balances?
If so, you are not alone. Outstanding private pay balances can create problems for business small and large. Your staff gets too busy to mail statements or make collection calls. And in the back of your mind you know the longer a balance goes unpaid, the harder it will be to collect. Where can you turn for help?
Consider using a billing and collection partner. They can help you get your statements mailed on time and can generate several touches to remind your client of their outstanding private pay balance which results in you collecting more cash faster using fewer resources from your office.
Here are the five areas you should consider when selecting a partner:
You will want an industry leader, so make certain the company is experienced in collecting outstanding balances in the HME/DME industry and can show results.
The growth of your business depends on repeat customers. Any partner is an extension of your reputation, so make certain your clients will be treated with respect.
The biggest tools that billing and collection companies use to reach out to your clients are invoices and phone calls. Ask for a copy of their invoice and phone scripts. As you review them, ask yourself the following questions:
Note: The company’s timeline should be flexible to meet the needs of your business.
Integrations streamline the flow of data so your client services team will have current information to better serve your patient.
When you compare costs, here’s what to expect:
Take the time to check the company’s references. The comments will probably be positive, but you can still find out how a vendor will work with you by asking the right questions:
Why take the time to go through this process?
Here are a few of the benefits of hiring a billing and collections partner:
If you have any questions how a billing or collections partner can help your business, please contact Bruce Gehring at email@example.com or 913-338-4790 x202.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software works across many functions of the business. For example, inventory. Purchase orders to vendors are created and sent electronically. As products come in, they are entered into the ERP so that all products are accounted for in real-time, and with their actual costs. Bar code systems keep the inventory up to date, so that products can be ordered on a just-in-time basis.
Also, constant analysis of the actual cost of the product (COGS – cost of goods sold) vs. the income generated makes pricing of products much more efficient and real profit/loss can be determined on individual product lines. Customer service reps always know exactly what is in stock for customers, and if a product is available at a different store, they can give the customer the option of going to that store or having the item shipped to them.
ERP can bring the inventory into each individual delivery truck, enabling the truck drivers to track inventory and always have items on hand. In this way, ERP turns trucks into mobile warehouses, and drivers become responsible for their own inventory. A second trip to deliver to a patient costs on average of $70. With an ERP system integrated to curbside, proper patient sizing, inoperative equipment, and compliance documents are complete and accurate.
With the ERP system, the driver begins the day by stocking the truck with all items that may be needed on the day’s delivery route, as well as the automatically generated printed documentation for each delivery. Then the ERP plans an optimized delivery route for them.
Once they arrive curbside, they can have multiple sizes and items available so that the driver can test equipment for size and operability. Once the item is assigned to the customer based on bar code, the ERP provides the driver with automatically generated compliance documents on a handheld device. As they review each document provided to the customer, they check off the items on their device and obtain customer signature.
Meanwhile, inventory levels are immediately updated based on the bar code, and the billing team receives the documentation and can send the claim even as the driver is still on the road. This entire process typically eliminates the need for second trips for the same order, representing significant cost savings since each trip costs an average of $70.
When a customer service representative enters a customer’s information, all of the critical elements are maintained within the ERP system. Once a customer profile is set up, all documentation is attached to that customer, drastically increasing the efficiency of the billing operation.
Because the ERP is synced up with the billing and insurance information, customer service reps can tell customers whether items are eligible for reimbursement and the expected rate of reimbursement in real-time.
They can also tell customers if they have pending payments due, speeding the payment process. Patient responsibility can be identified and a credit card placed on file to file automatically collect the money when the claim is adjudicated. If the patient cannot pay that amount on a single charge then a payment plan can be established at intake.
The billing team can instantly access billing records, reimbursement rates, and documentation for any individual claim. This allows them to immediately remedy problems before submitting for reimbursement. The integration of the ERP means that the billing team has a much higher rate of accuracy when submitting claims, because the system will tell them when a claim is incomplete, virtually eliminating denials based on incomplete claims.
Today’s DME providers are under increasing pressure to maximize every dollar of reimbursement, and the only way to do that is with a sophisticated billing system. Your chance of surviving the current industry consolidation rests almost entirely on profitability, which must be driven by technology.
Old, non-integrated billing systems not only put you at risk for lower reimbursement rates, they also increase the time it takes your billing team to submit for reimbursement, increases the rates of rejection and under-reimbursement, and puts you in danger of an extensive and time-intensive process in case of an RAC audit.
Yesterday’s simple billing systems have evolved into high-level software systems that streamline the billing process from patient intake to delivery and service. Our advanced software eliminates manual and time-intensive processes that are dragging down your margins. Today’s leaders in DME are adopting our technology and training their staff to utilize the full capabilities of our business management software, allowing for a streamlined workflow and increased profitability.
Our advanced billing software system makes the process of collecting all the necessary data related to billing convenient, and customer service representatives and delivery staff make fewer mistakes because each step is defined in the software system. The billing team works off a fully integrated system ad is alerted to missing information before submission, cutting down on rejection and increasing the turnover of submission to full reimbursement.
The importance and advantages of having a multifunctional software management system like Bonafide cannot be overstated. With a single platform from which to manage all essential business duties, from billing to inventory management, you have the opportunity to not just survive DME market consolidation, but to become a leader in the DME market.