The most productive communities are those with healthy individuals. Community Health has become the nation’s healthcare provider for poverty level patients. These affordable services allow individuals to get treatment without acquiring debt. Additionally, Community health centers provide employment opportunities to our communities. KFF.org reported roughly 207,656 Full- Time staff in 2017. It’s an exciting time for Community Health but growing to meet the demand has its challenges and more than 90 million people currently live in medically underserved communities.
Rapid growth can cause considerable inefficiencies. Health centers juggle staffing, patients, equipment, facilities, technology and the list goes on. One of the most critical operational responsibilities is billing since this is how medical providers get paid. But the billing department can be a major source of inefficiencies if not managed correctly.
Billing staff can turn over quickly and each manager has a different workflow. It’s a best practice to create procedures for each workflow. Billing managers should create procedures that can easily be measured. This will facilitate standardization within the organization.
Also, transparency should be a focus. Patients will have questions and your billing staff should be able to provide consistent answers. Create scripts and train your personnel on patient policies and billing procedures. Like with radiology patient billing, providing patient-friendly notices can also increase efficiencies by greatly reducing the time your staff spends answering billing questions. Lastly, consistently scan your existing patient self-pay accounts for Medicaid. Missing out on Medicaid billing opportunities is a mistake.
Maintaining efficiencies during times of growth is challenging but critical. Many of the nation’s leading FQHCs trust Emerald AR to keep them efficient and poised to take advantage of the opportunities in today’s changing healthcare landscape.