Medical offices need to run efficiently as a business and cut medical costs. This means that medical office administration staff need to be alert to any potential waste and open to opportunities to economize. There are several ways that staff in medical offices can cut medical costs and ensure the money balances in the accounts. The medical office administration specialist can make sure coding is done correctly, maximize attendance in the medical office, get an efficient filing system in place, bill on time, go paper free, use electronic health records and collaborate with others. All of these actions can cut medical costs and save a medical office time and money.
One of the most important things for medical office administration specialists to do is ensure that the clinical coding processes are correct. This includes making sure a medical procedure has been coded correctly so the appropriate payment is made. If a patient is overcharged they may leave the office, reducing clients and income. Overcharges can result in having an unexpected bill and having to pay a penalty charge in some circumstances.
The medical office should have an audit system and filing procedure to avoid medical billing errors. Double billing can cause problems with insurance claims, costing everyone time and money. The medical billing specialists should establish an auditing process to prevent overbilling.
Get an Efficient Filing System in Place
One of the first things a medical office administration specialist should do is put an efficient filing system in place. Medical office administration specialists have the vocational skills and training to create an efficient filing system. Ideally, an efficient medical office needs a billing system, organized filing and accurate record keeping. An efficient filing system is the first step to avoid wasting time and money.
Maximize Attendances in the Medical Office
One of the biggest waste areas in a medical office is wasted appointments either caused through non-attendance or overscheduling. Wasted appointments leads to loss of income and means other patients wait longer for treatment. A medical office administration specialist can schedule a specified number of appointments, fill the vacancies with patients, and ensure the patient is available to attend. It is also possible to write into the terms and conditions of a medical contract that a fee will be charged for non-attendance without giving prior notice. This increases compliance with attendance. By making sure test results are available for the medical office to support the doctors, treatments can be planned more efficiently, negating the use of multiple appointments.
Bill on Time
Medical office administration specialists need to ensure they bill promptly and have processes in place for chasing late payments. This ensures cash flow through the medical office so that the wages and bills can be paid on time. Establishing a filing system with tracking will help ensure money owed to the medical office is being invoiced for and paid on time. Checking a patient has insurance is another effective way of ensuring payment will follow for treatment, thus avoiding a loss of income.
Go Paper Free
The cost of mailing is increasing, placing pressure on medical offices that rely on paper records. An easy way to save money is to get clients to sign up for paper free prescribing, appointments, and other correspondence from the medical office. Online appointment systems are another good way to get patients to schedule time with their physician and save the cost of mailing. This will also save money spent on employee phone time. Patients can be texted or emailed for reminders about blood tests, check-ups, and appointments instead of phoning or mailing. As well as saving the costs of mailing and printing, going paper free is also environmentally friendly.
Use Electronic Health Records
Use of the electronic health records systems is a great way to avoid wasting time and money. The electronic health record (EHR) is a systemized collection of a patient’s electronically stored health information. The electronic health records can be shared by all providers in a patient’s care including physicians, medical offices and healthcare professionals.
Standardized electronic records systems are more efficient and make clinical coding easier, as they are embedded. Wasted money on medical bills often occurs due to handwritten notes and instructions that are unclear. Electronic health records save money, time, are more efficient and easier to keep confidential.
The use of electronic health records can also reduce the number of duplicate tests that can waste money. With the help of electronic health records, each physician treating the patient will have insight into the other physician’s treatments. If a test has already been ordered, both physicians can share the results to offer better health care to the patient, saving everyone time and money.
Collaborate with Others
One of the most efficient ways to cut costs is to collaborate with other medical offices on bulk orders, by buying medication and equipment together. This collective negotiation usually drives down costs and negotiates a better deal. Group insurance is another way of cutting costs. Sharing expertise across medical offices can also help reduce costs by employing fewer people but utilizing their skills efficiently.
Running a medical office efficiently is vital in the age of increased costs. Medical office administration specialists have the ability to identify areas to save that do not negatively impact quality. From paper free environments to correct clinical coding, the expertise of the medical office administration specialist is vital to having a solvent medical office.
Do these challenges of a saving a medical office resources and cutting medical costs interest you? Want to learn more about managing the day-to-day challenge of being a medical office administration specialist? The Medical Office Administration program at Meridian College provides training to prepare you for an entry-level position at a hospital, doctor’s office or other medical facility.
Meridian College is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education within the Florida Department of Education. Meridian College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
Contact Meridian College today to learn more about becoming a medical office administrator.