It is very common for many practices to not have reliable procedures in place to ensure that all charges for procedures performed and products used or dispensed are captured and billed to the client. In practices with an ambulatory component, reviews have routinely found that it is very common for as much as 20% of charges to go unbilled. Think of that number! What is the impact of not capturing 20% of your revenues?
Common reasons and sources for missed charges include:
- failing to perform billing activities at the time of service
- forgetting to record dispensed medication
- not having a procedure in place to record lab work that was ordered
- failing to bill for shipping charges for external lab tests that require expensive shipping such as Fedex
- failing to transfer daily charges from written records for hospitalized cases
- failing to record radiology and other imaging services
We've discussed the fact that Cost of Professional Services (cost of goods, radiology, lab, food, bedding, mortuary, and other related services) represents the second largest expense category. Failure to record and bill for the above services will increase COPS as a percent of revenue and will greatly reduce the profitability of the practice.
Put procedures and people in place to review every appointment and record to ensure that all charges are captured and billed.