Owning a healthcare business presents a lot of challenges in itself…not only are you a physical therapist, but you also have to know a thing or two about running a business to ensure you are meeting your financial goals, on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
With that being said, there are two important tasks you must do in order to successfully track your finances…payment tracking and billing reconciliation. If you don’t have accounting experience and/or you aren’t in touch with an accountant, you might be wondering what payment tracking and billing reconciliation is and how you can accomplish it?
The easiest answer….invest in an EMR software that allows you to automatically keep track of your payments and reconcile them. Trust me, you will save yourself a lot of time, error, and several headaches! Let’s dive into a brief overview of what payment tracking and billing reconciliation is and why they are so important.
To begin, payment tracking is essentially the foundation of the financial portion of your business. Payment tracking allows you to:
- Identify the clinics billed/outstanding amounts vs. paid amounts from patients and insurance companies
- Recognize any bad debt which is any billed amount that you can no longer or will no longer receive payment for, either from insurance or a patient
- Identify partial payments of invoices, especially by insurance
- Avoid misunderstandings with patients and insurance companies by being able to promptly notify them about if they owe any outstanding bills/payments
- Better manage your clinic through understanding your cash flow and recognizing any trends which might be detrimental to your business
Through tracking your payments, not only will your business be more organized and efficient, but you will also be able to know the financial wellness of your business and any changes you need to make, in order to be more successful.
Payment tracking also plays a big role in billing reconciliation. Billing reconciliation is the process of matching incoming insurance statements to open or outstanding invoices to ensure the clinic is receiving the correct amount of money for the provided services. In the past, billing reconciliation had to be done by hand which meant keeping track of payments, costs, and bad debt expenses and then at the end of the month, spending hours or even days reviewing those records to determine how efficient and effective your clinic was over the past month. Talk about wasted time and hassle!
Fortunately for clinic owners, in 2014 a new set of operating rules were released from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), which encouraged the development of Electronic Remittance Advice (ERA) transactions for healthcare payments. This means you no longer have to worry about long hours, increased errors, and wanting to pull your hair out from manually doing billing reconciliation, because the process can now be automated! As previously mentioned, the easiest way to automate this process is to buy an EMR software which allows you to perform payment tracking and billing reconciliation all in one place, essentially tackling two problems with one solution. HelloNote allows you to reconcile payments directly into the EMR so you have a great idea of your billed vs. paid amounts, including revenue reports. Such a simple solution!
While automating payment tracking and billing reconciliation will save a lot of time and money each month, you should still perform some basic steps which will allow you to have a more efficient end of year reporting. These basic steps include:
- Keep your patient records organized and consistent
- Complete weekly reviews of your patients accounts to ensure you have accurate information regarding outstanding balances and incoming payments
- Allow ample time for claim adjustments and resubmissions: if a claim is denied you will need to ensure you have resubmitted the claim with all of the requested information within the time limit set by the insurance company
Automating payment tracking and billing reconciliation will not only allow for your clinic to run more efficiently and effectively, but it will also reduce a lot of human error that might occur from someone manually completing these tasks. EMR documentation softwares, such as HelloNote, provides you with the ability to easily automate this process so that you can be sure your business is running as smoothly as possible. HelloNote allows you to perform this payment tracking seamlessly and you can sign up for a free demonstration here to see exactly how easy it is to use the HelloNote software: https://hellonote.com/