At Gryphon Healthcare, our goal is to keep a sharp eye on your business to help protect your growth goals. That means you have access to our team of experts working behind the scenes any time you need us. In this newsletter you’ll find more information about the team working for you, and gain more insight into the processes in place to help you be successful.
Latest Legal Updates
No Surprises Act
As you know, the implementation of the No Surprises Act has already had drastic effects on the healthcare industry. We are closely monitoring this situation. As things change and unfold, we want to keep you up to date on what we know and what we are doing to help your practice.
You should have received an email from Gryphon’s CEO Rhonda Sandel with carrier updates. At this time, we are diligently monitoring and reporting every carrier change we see carriers and will provide you with personalized updates through our regular calls and meetings.
On February 23, 2022, we saw the first ruling on a handful of lawsuits challenging the second Interim Final Rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, and Department of the Treasury (the Departments).The US District Court for The Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division ruled in favor of TMA and vacated the rules implementation of the No Surprises Act. On February 28, 2022, the Administration provided its first official response to the ruling. The Departments actions included the removal of guidance documents referring to the portions of the IFR invalidated by the court, providing training on the revised guidance for certified IDR entities and Disputing Parties, and opening of the IDR process for submissions through the IDR Portal.
Industry experts feel this guidance indicates the Government will not seek to challenge the District Court’s ruling. However, Gryphon will continue to monitor the situation for any relevant changes.
If you have further questions or concerns, please reach out to your client services manager.
Financial Planning for Your Practice
Managing COVID Surges
As the latest COVID surge slows, you’re likely to notice your cash flow is slowing too. Here are a few tips to help you even out your cash flow.
- Set some cash aside for the future. We all want to think we’re emerging on the other side of the COVID tunnel, but the truth is we don’t know when another variant might cause another surge. If you are able, we recommend saving a some of your current cash to cover costs like staffing and supplies should we see another surge.
- To get a true picture of the state of your healthcare organization for future planning, remove COVID-related income from the equation. Look at your current billing without COVID testing and immunizations and compare it to pre-COVID periods to get a realistic picture of the health of your organization.
- If you’d like a more detailed analysis of your billing and collections, ask your client services manager for a report. We’ll also help you make a strategic plan to ensure you’re reaching your financial goals in 2022 and beyond.
Communication is Key
When a patient seeks medical care, they have a choice of healthcare providers. If they are pleased with their experience and care, they have an increased likelihood of becoming repeat patients. If patients are extremely satisfied, they can even become a referral source for providers, facilities, and practices. In other words, the patient experience affects your revenue cycle. The way you communicate with your patients about their billing pays a large role in their satisfaction.
There have been numerous studies conducted about patient satisfaction and it often boils down to a couple of things.
Beginning with the check-in process and all the way through a doctor’s post-visit follow up with a patient, billing, and collections, communication is key. For many organizations (especially ERs), there are regulations about what information needs to communicated with patients and how it should be done. Some efforts are required such as posting signs in your facility and online, and having patients sign acknowledgement forms. However, Gryphon recommends going a step further.
Explain to patients what is expected of them at the time of their service. Explain the EOB to the patient and that they will receive a bill for any balance they are responsible for according to their insurance benefits. Walk the patient through the billing process and explain the various payment options available to them. While this process may seem cumbersome, or even redundant, remember that paperwork can be intimidating to a patient. Taking the extra step to communicate verbally, and follow up in writing, will help ensure patients feel confident in the treatment they are receiving, the costs of the treatment, and the costs they will ultimately be responsible to pay.
Billing cycles can be lengthy. Especially if your organization has also been inundated with covid billing on top of your regular services. Imagine a patient who gets a bill three months AFTER a service has been provided. The patient has either anxiously been waiting “for the other shoe to drop” and expecting the worst, has assumed they will not have any additional payment responsibilities, or has completely forgotten they may owe a balance for their visit. Timeliness may seem out of your hands, but it plays a large role in patient satisfaction. It is important to ensure you keep your billing cycles as short as possible.
If you need help establishing a better billing cadence, or with communication methods with your patients, Gryphon Healthcare is here to support you and your team. We can even help set up a patient satisfaction survey for your organization so you can set and identify areas of focus to create happier patients.
Preventing Non-emergent Diagnosis Denials
When it comes to preventing non-emergent diagnosis denials for emergency room visits documentation is key. Always ensure the patient’s reason for visit/HPI is documented as specifically as possible. Document any self-treatment efforts made by the patient prior to presenting to the Emergency Department to notate why they ultimately chose to seek Emergency Care. Allow your documentation to tell the full story. Paint a picture for the carriers, including all contributing patient history, including all signs and symptoms pertaining to the patient’s presenting problem.
Listing Clinical Impression to the Highest Specificity
Documenting a physician’s clinical impression can have an effect on the codes used. In order to ensure the most accurate coding and reimbursement, work with doctors to ensure they are documenting their clinical impression of the patient as specifically as possible. For example you could document “upper left quadrant abdominal pain” instead of “abdominal pain.” Using the highest level of specificity in a physician’s clinical impression documentation will ensure that the most accurate coding is used.
Keep Foot Traffic Flowing
These past few years have put most healthcare organizations in a reactionary mode. Covid surges have placed new demands on staffing, supplies, and facilities–not to mention the physical and mental exhaustion that has taken a toll on just about everyone.
As these “unprecedented times” seem to have no end in sight, it could be time to start moving into a proactive mode of marketing to ensure you keep foot traffic flowing and have a solid patient base when Covid ultimately ends. While marketing may be the last thing on your mind, a few small things can make a big difference in increasing your patient base, and ultimately your cash flow.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.
- Do Your Research
Do you know where your patients come from? How they find you? Why they come to you? Asking simple questions during the registration or checkout process can help you better understand your patients’ behaviors so you know more about your target audience and can develop awareness strategies to help that audience grow.
- Define Your Differentiator
You know not all physicians, facilities, and practices are the same. From bedside manner to office decor, there are dozens of factors that play into a patient’s experience and the opinion they form about you. Defining what makes you different and marketing it to your target audience will help you draw more of your ideal patients in the door.
- How’s Your Website?
Your online presence is an extension of your services and part of the patient experience. Are people able to find the information they are looking for? Where does your online traffic come from? Are there things you can do to capture more online traffic through search engine optimization? How are you converting website traffic to foot traffic? Your website should act as an information hub for your patients, and is a wealth of data for you. Take some time to audit your website’s content and optimization to ensure it’s firing on all cylinders for you.
If you’d like help marketing your organization, Gryphon Healthcare’s marketing team can help. Talk to your client services manager or each out to our Chief Marketing Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org.