Everyone has heard the phrase of garbage in, garbage out. However, how many of you have taken a proactive approach to minimizing this garbage flowing through your practice? Perhaps you don’t know where to begin or you think you know what the source of trouble is and just haven’t done anything about it. Fixing a mistake takes significantly more time than taking preventative steps. Often times, we are trying to minimize the time we are spending doing each task because there is so much to do. "I don’t have an extra minute to do that, let alone 5!" is what we often hear or even say.
We expect instantaneous responses, information, and communication. That means everyone is constantly working under a time crunch trying to provide answers and call backs and emails as quickly as possible. However, often times when we don’t take the 1 minute or even 10 minutes to do something, we are guaranteeing that we will be spending 3 times that amount of time fixing a mistake, an oversight.
Sometimes beyond extra time spent is money lost. For example, checking insurance eligibility in a medical practice is extremely important. With the ability to check eligibility online, the time that used to be spent on the phone has decreased considerably. What is the consequence of not checking eligibility? It’s not just time spent on seeing if the patient has other coverage or not but it’s potentially money lost. Perhaps that patient had no coverage at the time and once you find out and try to contact the patient you are unable to and no payment is received for that visit.
Not only is a domino effect created but so many additional actions were taken when an eligibility check could have saved any more time being spent and would allow the practice to make decisions with all the facts. It doesn’t end at checking eligibility, any collection and verification of information that is essential for obtaining payment and eliminating errors should be a priority. More often than not, there is a way to stop the chasing the mistakes you make!