By: Kaylee Gordon
Inaccurate account information will cause for inaccurate balances to be billed, infuriating patients and hindering the debt collection process; it throws reaching the maximum debt collected out the window. This can be quite the headache for your office or hospital medical billing efforts. Here at Emerald AR, we have been searching for ways to eliminate registration and data mishaps for 10 years. Physicianspractice.com was correct in saying, “The revenue cycle starts with patient registration.” Even in emergency situations, information on patient registration forms need to be filled out in order for a medical provider to provide service to the patient. Once services are completed, the patient is billed using information from the registration form like the patient’s address, insurance information, etc. You can’t get paid without this information. And If this information is incorrect, patient insurance companies may not pay its share, a bill could be sent to a different address and never reach the patient, or the wrong person could be billed and sent to collections. The list of possible mishaps goes on and on. Multiple other scenarios could arise at any given time if patient information is missing or incorrect.
The research firm, Gartner, discovered that over 25% of critical data in Fortune 1000 databases are inaccurate or incomplete. So, what are these hiccups in data entry and how can we prevent them? The following is a list of types of problems and how to stop them.
- Transposed names and numbers often are the root of the cause. It is very easy to have “fat fingers” or not pay attention. To prevent transposed or wrong information from being entered in the system, it is best go back and review your work to make sure errors are not present.
- People other than the patient filling out registration forms. Sometimes, the patient might not be able to filled out registration forms. In many cases, family members or friends try to enter this information to the best of their ability, but night not be completely accurate.
- Leaving information out. When certain pieces of information, that is entered into your system upon patient registration, doesn’t pertain to your direct line of work and it is easier to leave out this information rather than enter it. However, that information is vital to another part of the billing process. It is best to enter every piece of information to prevent further hiccups in the process.
- Mixing up patients. Just like how you wouldn’t want to mix up patient’s medication or services because of similarities such as names, faces etc. You do not want to switch patient accounts.
The bottom line is that patient registration and revenue are positively correlated. If you want revenue to increase, it is imperative to make patient information accuracy increase. Without this information, many errors can occur, preventing you from obtaining the maximum revenue you have earned.