Michele’s Thoughts for the Day

Michele’s Thoughts

Well, it has been a really busy summer so far. My thoughts are all over the place! I am a serious multi-tasker (almost to a fault) so having one thing on my mind is not possible. But right now the main thing that keeps coming around is that in this economy there are still so many providers who are losing money unnecessarily. Of course I just finished writing the article “Don’t wait Until You’re Sick To Get Well” which addresses this subject but that’s not the only reason I keep thinking about it.

You see as a billing service, billing is my main focus. But most providers, treating patients is their main focus, as it should be. But, in order to continue treating patients and treating them well, the billing must be handled well too. If the provider isn’t getting paid, they won’t be able to keep seeing patients.

In this economy it seems more important than ever that offices tighten up their receivables. When I first started my business, in 1994, it seemed that offices just accepted that they lost some money. There are always those services that are just uncollectable and must be written off. But many offices lose money that doesn’t have to be lost. I guess with the economy better it was ok to lose a little. But now, with insurance carriers getting stricter and cutting back, reimbursements are lower, copays are higher, and things have changed. Doctors can’t afford to forget about those copays anymore (not to mention they shouldn’t have back then either!).

When a copay is $50 instead of $5 it makes a big difference. Also, with copays so high, patients are a little more hesitant about rushing to see the doctor. They may choose to wait it out and see if it gets better before they run in to be seen. In any case, things are different. Times have changed. And so should providers’ attitudes about their billing.

They should take their billing more seriously and make sure they aren’t losing money that could be collected. They should take a look at their numbers and know what’s going on. Billers should be more diligent in doing their jobs and collecting all that is due. I don’t know why, but it drives me crazy to think of all the money that is lost unnecessarily, and it’s not even mine!

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