Urgent care centers have seen a steady rise due to rising emergency room costs. With the cost of doing business, how do you maintain to be profitable in a very competitive urgent care industry? You need to rely on proven steps to boost your urgent care revenue.
1. Improve RCM
One of the significant factors to staying profitable is having an efficient revenue cycle management. This is one of the daily challenges for your business, but you can control your RCM with proper staff training.
So how do you manage the revenue cycle?
First, start at the front desk. Be sure your staff is adequately trained to follow a step by step process of double checking insurance coverage and to make sure it still valid.
It is essential to use a Real-Time Health Insurance Eligibility Software that validates coverage, determines patient responsibilities and provides data on the percentage of the charge before the patient leaves. This can lead to lesser time spent during the billing process, and you can collect more at the time of your patients’ visit.
Train your staff to code correctly from patient registration to charting E/M codes. Maintain awareness of coding guidelines and be aware of specific Electronic Health Record (EHR) documentation guidelines related to E/M coding that need to be avoided. It is a must that all staff that touches the patient record understand the importance of accurate coding. Loss of revenue is the result of under-coding while up-coding can trigger audits.
Incorrect coding can also lead to claim denials and resubmission of claims which is time-consuming and can cost additional company expenses.
After the billing process, next of importance is following up on denied and delayed claims. Your revenue also relies on the management of unpaid claims.
2. Use technology to your advantage
This is critically important for your business because the sooner you use the available technology to your advantage, the sooner you’ll be ahead of your competition in growing your urgent care business. Make your clinic more accessible by offering online appointments. This can benefit both your staff and your consumers which includes:
Time savings – Staff spends less time on the phone managing appointments resulting in more time to spend on other vital tasks. On the other hand, your consumers will no longer need to call their medical provider which adds minutes to the scheduling process.
Monetary savings – The time savings you gained from having an online scheduling system can translate into financial savings. As staff resources can now be focused on other important tasks, an online scheduling system can decrease the need for a staff member to work overtime to handle the work overload created by the appointment-scheduling process.
24-Hour convenience – Online scheduling is readily available at any time of the day, so it allows for 24-hour scheduling, not just during regular office hours. This can decrease the incidence of long wait times for patients by the time they visit your urgent care center.
Assess patient satisfaction by providing a quick text-based survey to patients after their visit and monitor feedback from online review sites. This will improve customer service by promptly addressing their concerns and will increase consumer loyalty. Offer electronic payment methods as well as on-site credit card and debit card payments to your patients. This enables quick bill pay and keeps the money flowing for your business.
3. Make yourself more available
Extend your clinic hours to open earlier and close later. You can also open on weekends or holidays. This can get you an additional stream of patients through the door.
4. Always negotiate
Some business expenses can be negotiable so be proactive and negotiate all the time. Find a partner supplier that can provide discounted office supplies, cleaning services and materials, printouts of various marketing materials, and other negotiable expenses. The savings you will gain will help your overall revenue.
5. Consolidate staff
Avoid understaffing and overstaffing. Schedule your staff’s clinic presence by checking your patient load and compare peak and slow times.
6. Engage and retain patients
Retaining patient is a crucial aspect in the medical practice. Engagement is one of the keys to increasing patient loyalty. This will give an impression to your consumers that you care about them and their health. Treat each patient like a family member. This will ensure that they keep coming back time and time again.
7. Establish or enhance your online presence on social media
When your current patients “like” your business on Facebook, their entire social contact base sees it. That can direct user traffic to your page and your website. You can also start a blog to provide health and wellness tips, announce local health events and discuss general, positive information about your consumers’ health. Promote the blog on different social media channels.