Sequestration came into effect April 1, 2013.  Physicians beware.  As of today, your practice is earning 2% less on your Medicare patients than you did in February.  That’s a big cut and more cuts are on the way every year. Under the current sequester rules; Medicare will be cut by $100 billion over the next 10 years, with $11 billion to be cut in 2013 alone.

How will you compensate for that reduction in revenue?

First, if you have not yet reviewed your 2013 budget, do it now – right now! Determine with your partners and/or practice manager, where you can make cuts, reductions and increase efficiency.

One area to look at very closing and fine tune is your billing system. It’s amazing that even with today’s technology, physicians are still using index cards to record visits; sometimes holding on to them for a month before submitting them – and many times losing some.  This equates to lost revenue AND longer receivable turnaround times.

I just had a routine checkup last week and inquired of my physician (who I have known for years), how he recorded his out of office visits.  He said he was using index cards, even though he had an iPhone and iPad.  I inquired if his practice considered using electronic capture billing software, and he said “What’s that?”

Here’s a practice I can assure you is losing quite a tidy sum – as 80% of his patients are Medicare. As a matter of fact, recent studies indicate that approximately 25%-30% of all medical practice income is lost due to improper billing.

One health system decided to implement a charge capture software program and within three years they recognized:

• Increased charges captured by between 8-17%

• Improved Collection/Realization rates by between 3-5%

• Decreased Denial rates by 4-7%

• Decreased the denied charge write-off rate by 12-17%

Perhaps it’s time for your practice to take a close look at the efficiency of a Charge Capture software billing system.

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