The Olympians of Radiation Oncology – Your Billing Staff!

The start of the 2014 Winter Olympics is set for February 7th. Millions of people around the world will be awed by the amazing feats performed by those athletes.  They possess both exceptional physical and mental skills.  The ability to have complete concentration, while executing those feats, might be all that stands between some participants and serious bodily harm.

Even though I do not know anyone who has experienced serious bodily harm from billing Radiation Oncology services, I do know complete mental focus is crucial.  It ensures optimal reimbursement when coding is based on thorough medical record review and good medical practices.

practice management We have all seen those spectacular spins performed by those ice skaters.  Around and around they go, faster and faster, then, stop.  How they can still even stand let alone continue on is quite an accomplishment.  I have heard the trick is to keep your eyes focused on one spot as you spin, but I’m sure it is much, much more complicated. 

It seems for radiation billing that is pretty good advice too.  To keep your mind from spinning when auditing a chart or a daily schedules worth of billing, keep your eyes focused on one spot.  Avoid multi-tasking during this part of your work day.  Avoid the email alerts and utilize voicemail.  Does your office have a door?  Shut it! Develop a step by step process you use to check the EMR, record and verify system, and the appointment schedule against your captured charges.  Soon it will be such a “habit” that it will come naturally to you, just like those amazing spins.

mogulsThere are several skiing events in the winter Olympics and none makes my knees hurt like watching the downhill moguls. Bump after bump, at pretty high speeds those skiers navigate their way through the course.  They can “fly” through the course smoothly because they know it’s going to be bumpy. Many hours of training have been dedicated to learn how to move through, over, around, etc. and make it safely to the end.

Radiation billing has its own set of bumps to navigate.  Education is the key to safe passing in this instance.  Coding seminars like those offered by BMSI, payer online resources, healthcare blogs and industry forums are the keys to safe passage through the course of Rad/Onc charge capture. 

medical billing softwareUtilization of a practice management system, like Iridium Suite, also allows you to import directly from the record and verify system and many EMRs via HL7 helping to reduce the possibility of missed charges via manual data entry.

Nothing epitomizes teamwork like the Olympics. ice hockey In a true team sport like hockey each person is responsible for their position and strives to optimize the team performance by working together to score those goals. 

cross country There is also the Nordic Combined Team eventski jumping , where the team wins by having the best cumulative team member performance. 

Each have a slightly different approach, but both are the perfect to pattern your radiation billing processes after.  The appointment scheduler, the front desk “check-in” person, your coder/biller, the “check-out” person and accounts receivable specialist all play integral roles in ensuring the success of the practice.  Cultivate this “team” philosophy and you will be on the top of the podium.  (You can download this free white paper on Medical Office Workflow to get your training started.)

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