Patient responsibility costs and other out of pocket costs continue to rise throughout the United States. This can sometimes lead to delays in payment or failure to pay for services rendered. A patient who pays their co-pay, co-insurance costs, prescriptions, and other out of pocket costs in a timely manner, make it easier to close a claim cycle at payment posting.
Also known as “Cash Posting” Payment posting is typically done in one of two ways. The one that is best can vary depending on the patient’s financial ability, as well as their level of coverage.
This posting is done by administrative staff and often takes longer to enter the information. It also comes with an increased risk of typos and other errors, which can delay the medical billing posting process.
This is a more software-driven approach that takes advantage of industry best practices and digital solutions to speed the medical billing posting process for a more consistent revenue stream. Though some small practices and solo practitioners are averse to medical billing auto-posting processes as it makes them feel like they have less personal control over their revenue stream.
Why Is Accurate Medical Billing Posting Important?
Payment posting is a critical part of the medical billing process as it ensures that healthcare service providers can monitor incoming payments. When properly organized and efficiently streamlined it helps practices of all sizes to identify issues and take proactive steps to solve problems. This includes things like daily insurance payments from ERAs, EOBs, patient payments, and insurance checks.
Of course, the medical billing process has multiple steps. Each of which is important in maintaining a consistent revenue stream. A problem at any one of these steps can interrupt critical incoming revenue as well as limiting your ability to treat patients and expand your practice.
Efficient payment posting in medical billing is the first place to identify non-payment issues to start seeking resolutions. This includes things like claim denials, claim rejections, and failure to attain prior authorization.
When a payment posting problem shows up, you can directly address the problem in the short-term. You can also use it as a red flag to identify possible patterns and recurring errors in your medical billing policies to make long-term improvements in your practice’s revenue stream.
Understanding The Critical Role Payment Posting Plays In The Revenue Cycle
An effective and consistent revenue stream relies on payment posting as a closing procedure in the medical billing process. It also can be used as a critical analytical tool for healthcare providers to identify medical coding errors and policy problems. It is employed by both in-house administrative staff as well as third-party medical billing agencies.
Beyond the importance it plays in a consistent revenue stream, payment posting’s analytical value cannot be understated. Practices of all sizes that apply analytics to payment posting almost always find ways to improve their incoming cash flow. In the long-term, this also opens up more time for clinicians to treat patients and for practices to potentially expand.
Making The Most Out Of Payment Posting’s Analytical Value
Effective payment posting also serves to produce a catalog of payments that reflect the medical billing process. It can then be implemented through various software suites to reveal previously unrealized inefficiencies. It further generates a clear picture of the insurance payments in EOBs, as well as insurance checks from ERAs, outstanding patient out of pocket costs, and other areas where the medical billing process or the revenue stream can be optimized. Ultimately diligent payment posting ensures that claims are processed without any unforeseen interruptions.
In some instances, payment posting analytics might also be used to identify administrative staff that needs retraining, a need to upgrade in-house accounting software, or perhaps a salient need to outsource medical billing to a third-party vendor.
Effective Payment Posting Helps Small Practices To Expand
Small practices and solo practitioners often have staff tasked with a wide range of duties. Many times an administrative staff member or solo physician ends up tackling tasks that are far outside their area of specialization. This is especially true for medical billing and coding which for the untrained can seem arcane at times. It also makes medical billing and payment posting increasingly prone to errors. Once an error enters the system it can propagate leading to a wide range of delays and interruptions in the revenue stream.
When efficient and accurate medical billing practices are implemented consistently it frees up administrative staff and physicians to focus on more important aspects of the practice. This can include things like being able to treat a higher volume of patients. This in turn improves the overall cash flow and solvency of the medical practice.
Administrative staff and physicians who aren’t losing time to medical billing errors, corrections, and payment posting responsibilities might also be able to spend more time trying to expand their practice. This might include things like open up new areas of service, expanding existing services, continuing education or attract new clients.
The EOB and ERA Benefits Of Improved Payment Posting Practices
As a critical component of the medical billing process, efficient and accurate payment posting ensures that the data from the EOB (Explanation of Benefits) and the ERA (Electronic Remittance Advice) work together in synergy. This further helps with timely, accurate payment posting to optimize overall business performance.
With proper analytics improvements in the EOB and ERA can be used to streamline in-house medical billing protocols and reduce claim denials from insurance providers. In many cases, payment posting can also be directly synched with in-house accounting software. This is especially handy for giving small practices and solo practitioners a sort of dashboard, that lets them monitor the revenue flow, without necessarily having to take a hands-on approach to the mechanics of medical billing.
Outsourcing Your Medical Billing & Payment Posting
These days an increasing number of small medical practices and solo practitioners are embracing third-party medical billing agencies to handle their critical needs. Including payment posting. This frees you and any of your in-house administrative staff to better serve the needs of patients and other aspects of managing the business side of the practice.