A lot of ABA providers and behavioral therapists find themselves dealing with a significant waitlist. Demand in this area often occurs because there is so much pressing need. Of course, you want to be able to give every potential patient and the families who support their access to your services.
Yet a lot of ABA therapists find that they simply do not have enough available hours to provide service to the people requesting them. With a limited number of well-qualified ABA professionals and ever-increasing demand for their services, it can feel nearly impossible to meet that demand.
At the same time, a lot of those individuals and their supporting families are seeking the best providers available. As an ABA therapist, this means they desperately need your help, but sometimes their desperation can drive them to seek insufficient services that don’t fully meet their needs.
Unfortunately, an ABA wait list can be just as stressful for your incoming patients and your business as it is for you as the provider. If a waitlist is needed within your practice, it might help to know that there are ways to better handle the situation.
Things ABA Therapists Can Do When Dealing With a Waitlist for Services
The overarching goal of any passionate ABA therapist is to provide comprehensive data-driven mental health services to as many people as possible. Yet to be able to do this means having as much available time as possible. This drives many ABA therapists to have to create a waitlist that can sometimes feel understandably daunting.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to both help incoming patients understand the scenario, as well as make your clinical hours as efficient as possible.
Communicate Upfront With Prospective Patients
It’s easy to draw in new prospective clients who need your ABA therapy services. Be sure to let them know that there is a waitlist and then also do your best to inform them of how long it might take for the onboarding process to start for them.
Ideally, you want to provide a range or span of time instead of a specific date. If possible, try to use vague terms such as three to six months. Then also inform them when they should contact you again to see if your ABA therapy practice’s waitlist times have improved. The goal is to let them know that you’re available for them in the future without promising any hard dates.
Put A Referral System In Place
Networking with one or two other ABA providers in your area will help keep you informed about who provides similar services. This might include offering an alternative option for your prospective new patients to help them find available care sooner. Just make sure to vet alternative resources, and be clear about the types of services they offer as well as their availability.
Stay Informed About Waitlist Times For Accuracy
Make sure to closely monitor your own waitlist times in case they happen to shorten or expand. It’s not uncommon for prospective patients to find alternative care. Yet they didn’t inform you that they no longer need your services. Touching base with the prospective patients on your waitlist helps keep you informed. Should one or more people on your waitlist no longer need your ABA services, it can open the door for others.
Ways To Streamline Your Practice To Make More Clinical Hours
By far the easiest way to the goal is to ensure your practice is running well so that you can care for as many people as needed. This often includes a multi-prong approach toward finding ways of reducing some of the burdens of mundane or administrative tasks. The less you must do, the more time you have to provide care.
Outsourcing Medical Billing Duties
If you’re a solo practitioner or a small practice with a limited administrative staff, then you are probably aware of just how much clinical time is lost to the process of medical coding and billing. When you outsource your medical billing services to a third-party company like Operant Billing Solutions, you will gain enormous amounts of time for yourself and your administrative staff.
This will further open the door to being able to onboard more prospective patients who desperately need your ABA services. When you consider the miniscule cost of outsourcing, compared to the incoming improvements in your revenue stream, it only makes sense to reallocate these responsibilities.
Outsourcing your medical billing also improves the accuracy of all the claims generated. Since most ABA practitioners have only a basic knowledge of medical billing best practices, solo practitioners and small practices tend to see a much higher percentage of claim denials, claim rejections, or payer institutions asking for additional information.
Not only can these unnecessary delays cause inconsistencies in your revenue stream, but they also tend to take a long time to correct. This is still more time lost to administrative tasks that would have been better spent on clinical hours serving patients.
When you outsource your medical billing services to a third-party vendor like Operant Billing Solutions, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that highly trained and experienced medical billing experts are combing through every single claim you submit.
They check it over with a discerning eye to find any errors, missing information, incorrectly used codes, or other common coding errors. If there’s a problem that they can’t correct from the provided information on the claim, such as a missing address in one field, they can contact you to clear the problem up in a matter of minutes, rather than hours.
This further ensures that the insurance payer or public health institution receives the claim coded exactly how they want it. All without you having to take time away from the patients transitioning from your waitlist to active care.
The process also helps streamline your revenue stream in a predictable way. This makes it easier for you to confidently bring on more staff or expand your ABA practice in other ways that make it easier to serve new patients.