Virtually every medical practice has to bill patients, work with insurance carriers, and maintain billing records. Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are no exception. And as a matter of fact, patient billing for FQHCs is much more complex than you can imagine. FQHCs have several departments that should work in an efficient manner to ensure seamlessness of the whole process of patient billings.
That is the reason FQHCs must create and implement effective policies and strategies for accurate patient billing. Another great benefit of solid policies is increased patient satisfaction. Below are five effective health center billing strategies for FQHCs to make the process seamless and successful.
Understand The Overall Billing System
First of all, it is of vital importance to understand the overall system of billing and revenue cycle in the health center to make sure the systems work as expected. Many health centers think that the real billing system is the submission and payment of claims. The fact of the matter is each staff member play a great role in making the billing process as smooth as possible.
The overall FQHC billing process starts when a patient sets an appointment and comes to an end when he or she gets the required treatment and pays the entire bill. The process of billing that should be in place should involve several steps, such as registration of the patient’s, charge entry, posting of payment and handling the accounts receivables.
Acquire Information From Patients
The FQHC staff should collect and implement and store accurate information about each patient , including insurance and demographics of the patient as soon as the patient enters the facility. On the first appointments, the staff should acquire information about insurance, birth date, phone number and residence address.
If you choose to work with an FQHC billing company, some companies provide access to software to help streamline this process. It’s important that your FQHC billing agency helps train staff on how to use this software properly and efficiently to acquire and record patient data.
Carry Out Reconciliation
Reconciliation of encounter forums with the schedule of appointment is another strategy for perfect billing system. The accounts department should then reconcile the total amounts with the reports generated by the management on a daily basis.
This allows the health facility to track all the missing encounter forms. As a result, this ensures that the whole process is seamless. The biggest benefit of this strategy is that it prevents the revenue loss.
Update The Fee Schedule Annually
The fee schedules of the FQHC should be updated on an annual basis. For fair revenue generation, the staff should set reasonable charges for the codes to ensure the achievement of reimbursements.
Another idea is to compare the fees with those of charged by other health centers. Here it should be noted that insurance companies don’t usually pay the full amount of the contract or amount billed, which means that charging lower than the contracted amount will lead to loss for the facility.
Let Each Patient Know The FQHC’s Billing & Financial Policies
Lastly, a health center or FQHC should let all its patients know about its FQHC billing and financial policies. For this, a single page with the financial policies written on it clearly should be given to each patient at the facility. Of course, it would be a summary of the FQHC billing policies.
Each patient should sign the document, and then the document should be put inside his medical treatment file. On the document, the payment terms, authorizations, information about insurance and cancellation policies should be clearly stated. This, in short, is health center billing best practices.
For keeping an FQHC in good shape, many strategies can be implemented, but starting with these five strategies can be good ideas. If these work for you, your facility can be really successful.