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By Market Intelligence Team

Seven Opportunities to Get More From Your Current Contracts

Did you know that the health care field is estimated to lose 5% to 10% revenue per year due to problems with payment collection, accounts receivable aging, and charge capture? Even a small improvement in back office collections can have a positive financial impact. In today’s behavioral health and social service market, most provider organizations struggle with how to decrease expenses and increase the financial resources available for program development and service delivery. One often overlooked way to accomplish this is to improve the collection rate for services rendered. Are you capturing all of the revenue that you deserve? Below are seven tips to maximize your current contract revenues:

  1. Increase prices. An organization can negotiate higher contract rates or increase prices for services delivered. It can be difficult for behavioral health providers to make significant revenue gains here, but could certainly be a part of your comprehensive strategy.

  2. Increase capacity and productivity. This can be accomplished via cancellation and no-show management; more centralized scheduling and scheduling optimization; as well as via employing physician extenders for routine medication visits.

  3. Increase referral generation for services. Analyze referral patterns and then survey referral sources for feedback. Based on the results, additional marketing and promotional activities can then be developed.

  4. Manage service authorizations. This can be accomplished by implementing processes to ensure service authorizations are obtained for all required services.

  5. Develop additional services. This can involve both developing services for current customers and taking current services to new markets.

  6. Ensure proper coding when billing services. Organizations frequently lose revenues because of incorrect coding; train your staff on new code sets and address errors promptly to induce rapid reform.

  7. Enhance third and first party collections. It is not unusual for behavioral health, child welfare, and social service providers to have collection rates of only 80% of net revenues. Seek out debtors vigilantly.

For more information on each of these key revenue maximization strategies, OPEN MINDS Circle members should access my full presentation, “Getting More From Your Current Contracts & Clients – Revenue Maximization Strategies Focused on Improved Billing & Collections,” given at the 2009 OPEN MINDS Strategic Planning Institute.

Sincerely,

Joe Naughton-Travers, Ed.M.

Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

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Interested OPEN MINDS Premium Circle members may also wish to access “Improving Your Back Office Collections: Steps for Better A/R Practices“. In this article, Mr. Naughton-Travers guides you to better accounts receivable (A/R) practices by looking at several areas key to successful collection.

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