When it comes to ambulatory surgery center (ASC) billing practices, proper charge entry is critical. But an equally essential part of the billing process is following up to ensure that claims are being processed correctly. While follow-up steps can involve up to 60 percent of the billing staff’s time, they are key to optimizing revenue, and directly impact the center’s revenue cycle as a whole.
To maximize efficiency, ASCs should make three follow up steps a routine part of the billing process:
Check claim status with payers
In many instances, payers need additional information to approve a claim, and missing information can lead to issues and delays in payment. By dedicating time every 30 days to call each payer to check claim status, billing specialists find out early if the claims are clean or not, and can get to work immediately if an appeal is needed. This timely action, along with using the correct verbiage in correspondence, helps eliminate any hesitation to pay.
Organize to stay on top of past due accounts
Running accounts receivable (A/R) reports monthly is another way to streamline the follow-up process, and using a software management information system, such as HST Pathways, can make this an easy process for billing specialists. The benefit? Using monthly reports to trigger automatic follow up with every account that becomes 45 days past due helps prevent problematic claims from falling through the cracks.
Follow up with patients, too
To make sure that patient payments are fully accounted for, billing specialists should follow up with patients every 30 days. Early patient follow up allows the ASC to avoid 90-day final notices — and the pain of implementing a delinquent collections process — by collecting the full payment before the invoice is overdue, or setting up a payment plan. This easy step helps maximize revenue and, depending on individual circumstances, can improve patient satisfaction as well.
For more information on best practices for ASC billing services throughout the revenue cycle, click here to speak to a member of our team.