Running and growing a business is a tough and demanding job across every industry. In the healthcare industry, the responsibility is even greater, as you work on the front lines to protect people’s health and well-being. However, the financial fundamentals of running a clinic or private practice aren’t all that different from other industries; healthcare providers are businesses, after all.
As a healthcare administrator or the owner of your own private practice, the business’s bottom line is your responsibility. Along with your office staff, you have to manage the billing process, which is comparatively complex compared to that of other industries, as healthcare providers have to work closely with insurance companies.
Breaking Down Credit Balances
One key element to properly managing your clinic’s books is efficiently and accurately tracking your credit balances on a regular basis. A credit balance is a specific amount of credit that you owe to your patient or their insurance policy provider due to a billing error.
The payment could have landed in your records for various reasons, including accounting errors, errors converting currencies, errors in calculating the insurance percentage, or duplicate payments either by the patient or insurance company.
Whatever the reason, the law requires clinics and private practices to return the overpaid credit to their rightful owner, whether it’s an individual or company, in a set timeframe. Due to the strict regulations regarding credit balances, most clinics set aside time to review all of their credit balance in order to make sure they aren’t overdue on any payments, which can add up over time.
Credit Balances and the Revenue Cycle
The payment cycle in the healthcare industry is already one of the most complicated payment cycles. It consists of multiple steps with close deadlines and sensitive documents and procedures. It starts when the patient checks in, then moves to collecting and verifying the insurance policy provider’s information. Once the patient receives care, the biller enters the correlating diagnosis and treatment codes and any necessary modifiers. Next comes the time-sensitive charge entry and, lastly, submitting the final claim to the insurance provider.
Even using the most advanced healthcare billing software, errors are bound to occur either on your end, with the insurance policy provider, or the patient’s bank or credit card. Fitting credit balances into this already-complex process without proper organization can only spell disaster for your financial situation.
Sporadically processing credit balances repeatedly adds unnecessary steps to your billing process and increases the risk of additional errors and missing state mandatory refund deadlines. Over time, inefficiently processing your payments and credit balances can drain resources and negatively affect your clinic’s bottom line.
Improving the Process
How can clinic administrative and billing staff make the credit balance process more efficient? Pairing credit flow software with your existing enterprise performance management tool (EPM) is one way to simplify operations. For example, if your clinic is one of the many facilities using NextGen’s EPM tool, NextGen Practice Management, then you can use TempDev’s CreditFlow balance reports software to manage your credit balances as conveniently as possible.
Credit balance report software can simplify the daunting process of chasing credit balances by combining, organizing, and analyzing your data for you. Having a bird’s eye view of your most recent credit balances will give you the full picture of your private practice’s current financial situation.
This software also organizes your due credit balance payments by type, allowing you to run your own custom analysis and mitigate the balances as needed. In addition, credit balance report software can keep track of refunds and which weren’t delivered and require further attention.
Having a specialized credit balance software that integrates seamlessly with your clinic’s management software can significantly reduce your administrative staff’s workload. Not to mention, its accurate data collection, along with precise timeline tracking, allows you to work within state regulations and tax deadlines to avoid steep fines and penalties.
Making the Most of Modern Healthcare Technology
Leveraging credit balance report software allows you and your billing staff to focus on what’s important: providing quality care to patients and making payment processing as smooth as possible. With data analytics and automatic alerts, you can ensure that no credit balance slips through the cracks, costing you more time down the road and even subject you to penalties and liabilities.