Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keep the Rates Down With Medical Malpractice Insurance

Medical malpractice insurance is likely to be a significant expense and those in the medical industry will make every effort to ensure they are able to get the most attractive rates available in the marketplace. If you are able to take the right action it is certainly possible to keep the insurance rates quoted by underwriters at the more reasonable level. Here are some effective tips for keeping the insurance rates down:

Accept higher deductibles: One of the most effective ways to lower the premiums quoted by the insurers is to take a slightly higher deductible. Basically, the deductible is the first amount that is paid out in the event of the claim. The insurers wouldn't be involved unless the claim exceeds the total value of the deductible. In many cases it is possible to save a significant sum by taking this course of action, but it is of cause necessary to make sure a practice is able to fully accept and cover the cost of the total deductible.

Comparison shop: If you really want to make certain that you are able to attract the most desirable insurance rates for the malpractice insurance, it is highly beneficial if you are able to shop around at each renewal date to test the market. By doing this you are able to make certain that your existing insurance company is offering a competitive rate. If you do find that there is a noticeable discrepancy in the rates offered by your existing insurer and what is available elsewhere in the market, you might want to contact your insurers to see if they are able to offer a more desirable premium.

Early payment discounts: On many of these malpractice insurance policies you will likely notice that it is possible to get a certain percentage discount if you are able to pay early or by paying the premium in larger lump sums.

Change in status: It can also help if you are able to use one of the malpractice insurance policies that offer flexibility in relation to any changes in work status. If for instance you change to working part-time or no longer perform surgeries, this might have an impact on the insurance coverage and premium paid.

All in all, if you really want to make certain that you are able to get the best deal for a practice or individual, it will certainly benefit to search for the many choices available in the insurance market and sign-up to the policy that is able to offer the best overall package.

The Reality of In-House Patient Collections

When done correctly, in-house patient collections can be very effective. However, few medical centers have the staff, experience, technology, and governance needed to effectively run and manage a thorough patient pre-collect process.

As a rule, most back office medical systems and administration are focused on insurance billing and collections, which represents 75%+ of their overall revenue. This leaves little time for patient billing and collections. And, to be truly successful at in-house patient billing and collections, the same focus and attention that's placed on the insurance side needs to be placed on the patient side.

Since this rarely happens, most in-house attempts at patient balance recovery generate mediocre results. Let's look at the reality:

Incoming Phone Calls:

We've had many administrators tell us that they dread the week after statements go out because of the influx in phone calls.

As one Practice Manager recently stated, "my entire day can be eaten up in just taking the time to explain on the incoming calls what makes up the balance shown on the statement". The average call time in answering a billing statement question is over 22 minutes.

With an average of 2,250 statements going out per month, even if only 1% of the patients called in with questions, that would eat-up an entire 8 hour day for one FTE - assuming that was ALL they were doing.

Administrators interviewed stated that they were understaffed and not able to handle all the incoming calls. On average, over 20 calls a day go straight to voicemail. When, and if they have time to return the calls, they are rarely able to reach anyone.

This is lost revenue. Patients may be calling to update insurance information, provide a secondary insurance, to get a question answered, or to make a payment on their account.

Outgoing Patient Phone Calls:

If the staff doesn't have the time to effectively deal with incoming calls, which represents a small percentage of their patient base, how are they going to find the time to make outbound phone calls?

Staffing personnel to reach out to a large number of the patient base is extremely costly. And, getting a hold of them during regular office hours is difficult, if not impossible.

It is easy to see why most medical billing personnel are overwhelmed when it comes to reaching out to the patients during the 90-120 day pre-collect timeframe.

With so many factors to consider, and so much money left on the table, outsourcing the pre-collect process may be worth considering.

180 Recovery, by MPS, turns a medical center's patient A/R into spendable dollars, while protecting their reputation as a patient-friendly healthcare provider.

Billing and servicing non-defaulted patient accounts as an extension of the practice's A/R department, 180 recovers monies due which significantly decreases the number of patients that may ultimately be sent to collections.