The current developments in the healthcare field are contributing to increased patient volume in Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs). These facilities will therefore have to enhance their overall billing processes to improve revenue inflow; this can be more easily achieved with the support of reliable medical billing services. ASCs are considered to be a safe alternative to hospitals and many individuals choose this option to reduce their expenses. At these facilities, people can find the same equipment, surgeons and staffs as in a hospital operating and recovery room without the restrictive and complex administrative procedures associated with hospitals. Before going on to how ASCs can handle the huge patient volume and boost their revenue, lets consider the reasons why patients will be flocking to these facilities.
Major Reasons for Increased Patient Volume
- With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more people took healthcare coverage. It is estimated that around 8 million individuals signed up for non-group coverage through federal and state Marketplace during the first Open Enrollment period. As a result, there is higher demand for healthcare services. The aging baby boomers contribute to this increase in demand. We can surely say people will prefer ASCs to expensive hospitals as the former are safe facilities that support affordable hospitalization.
- There is a drift towards high-deductible insurance plans due to the exponential growth in patients looking for high quality and affordable care. Patients with high-deductible plans typically tend to find the best rates for their surgical procedures and ASCs are the best choice as they provide them with high quality, affordable care.
- Declining reimbursement rates resulted in a trend of health systems partnering with specialty surgery center operators and acquiring surgery centers. This allows them to receive higher reimbursement.
Tips to Improve Revenue
In order to manage high patient volumes and improve revenue, ASCs should enhance their efficiency in staff scheduling, room turnover and billing processes. Here are some effective tips for that.
- Strict Block Scheduling – By tightening block scheduling, surgeons performing several surgeries in a row can reduce their travel time between the ASC and the hospital or physicians office. Suppose the surgeons are there at your ASC for extended time periods and there are only a few cases. An effective block scheduling involves shortening their blocks or scheduling them for longer blocks every two weeks.
- Maintain Shorter Turnover Times – You can perform more procedures and increase profitability with shorter turnover times. Reducing the turnover times to seven to ten minutes is better. Analyze each task performed during the turnover process and assign specific tasks to every staff member including physicians. The supplies required for each procedure should be collected early and kept in your storage area so that everything is ready to use.
- Thoroughly Evaluate Your Billing Systems – Ensure that your billing system is efficient enough to help your claims get fully reimbursed by public and private payers. The system should adhere to the rules and regulations of insurance plans, and payment guidelines set up by the concerned authority. Ensure that your medical coding and billing processes are flawless so that your claims are not delayed or denied. There should be an effective denial management team as well to handle appeals, tracking and follow-up of denied claims.
As more patients are likely to visit your ASC, you will require more medical and office staffs to manage your medical billing process and considerable effort would be needed to manage them. This will add up your costs and administrative burden. Outsourcing your billing work to a professional company is a viable option in this situation. They will take care of assigning proper diagnostic and procedural medical codes, submitting claims in a timely manner, and addressing claim denials, if any.