For any ambulatory surgical center, the health and comfort of the patient is crucial. However, financial health is just as important as patient health. Focusing on efficient practice management and better business practices helps to improve profits. Any ambulatory surgical center (ASC) can benefit from using these essential tips for maintaining financial health.
One way to improve profits and financial stability is to keep the staff size appropriate. ASCs should have the right number of staff members to ensure that the practice’s case mix and volume is maintained. To ensure the staff size is appropriate, look at other comparable centers and the staff size they use to function efficiently. Monitoring staff levels often is also important. For example, it is important to know how many nurses the center is currently using and how many nurses are needed to ensure the center provides safe, efficient care. Keeping an appropriate staff size is even more important than the amount of money a center pays its staff members.
Many studies have shown that an employee wellness plan can improve profits for any company, and it holds true for ASCs, too. A good wellness plan will help promote actions that help employees stay healthy, or become healthy. Although employee wellness plans do require an initial investment, they are proven to be effective at keeping health care costs down. Keeping costs down helps maintain financial health and stability.
Training staff members may help to improve financial health. For example, simply training staff members to collect pre-registration information correctly can help an ASC avoid future collections. Patient registration has a big impact on the billing department. When pre-registration information is collected correctly, it leads to smoother billing. However, failing to collect enough information from patients pre-registration can lead to billing problems in the back end. Simply failing to obtain essential patient data can result in claim denials and other problems. Simply offering training for staff members who collect pre-registration information can reduce claim denials and the amount of accounts that end up in collections.
Front desk and registration staff members should also be trained to task for money. While every ASC wants to hire personable, friendly team members, the individuals must also be able to ask for money from patients to ensure the financial health of the practice. Specific training for these staff members can teach them different ways to ask patients for money, as well as how to look up any deductible and co-pay information. When staff members are trained to ask patients for money, ASCs have a greater chance of being paid promptly, improving financial stability.
Claim denials happen, but it is essential to deal with claims denials quickly, improving billing processes to avoid costly errors that put the financial health of the ASC in jeopardy. Claim reports should be reviewed regularly, making it easier to find what caused the rejection. If an error led to the denial, checking the claim reports make it possible to identify at what point the claim failed to continue moving forward. If staff members made the error, steps can be taken to improve processes, reducing future errors, which should reduce the amount of claim denials in the future. Consider having a billing and coding audit conducted which will also help uncover and identify any problem areas that are affecting your ASCs financial health.
Written by Joy Burgess
Joy Burgess is a full-time freelance writer with more than 12 years of writing experience. For more than six years, she has specialized in medical writing, drawing upon her previous medical experience in Emergency Care, Private Home Health Care and Geriatric Care.
abeo Management Corporation (abeo) serves as a leading source of revenue cycle management and practice management with a specialization in anesthesia. The company leverages its people, processes, and software to serve independent practices, surgery centers, hospitals and healthcare systems with a scope of services that include billing, coding, transcription, practice management, and business consulting.