Productively Billing in Your Practice without Patients

Posted by Shane Shepherd on Wed, May 13, 2020 @ 09:05 AM

Shane Shepherd shows how you can take free time to clear up your aging correctly. 

A good friend of mine, who was also once my employer and mentor, was always ready with a quip or little pearls of wisdom. These were often in the form of a quick thought, rather than a long dissertation, but still held the ability to change a body’s perspective once reflected upon.  

In this particular instance, we had just held a meeting about some of the larger initiatives we wanted to tackle. On a busy August day, as we each ran around the office like little army ants, we stopped to offer each other a few encouraging words. John McCormick looks at me says “Man, if it weren’t for these pesky patients, we could actually get something done.” Both of us instantly recognized the accuracy as well as the irony of his statement.

How to Work Aging for Optometry

It was true. Our day-to-day tasks did, on many occasions, keep us from moving the practice forward. But obviously, we wouldn’t be employed in the first place if it were not for those “Pesky Patients”. We tried to keep that in mind from that point forward.

Another time, he asked me to watch a quick Youtube video titled “Big Rock, Little Rock”. I’ve since learned this tip also goes by “The Empty Pickle Jar of Life”. Search for either title and you’ll find a rather nice time management exercise. There are many versions but here is one for your convenience.

The coronavirus has put many of us in the very rare position of having time on our hands. I encourage you to tackle those items you never seem to get a chance to conquer. Billers, now is the time to work that aging like you’ve never worked it before. The steps I like to follow when addressing an aging are:

  1. Identify timely filling deadlines by payer

    1. (Re)file any outstanding claim that is close to moving past these timely filing deadline in order to reduce any bad-debt write-offs.
  2. Post any outstanding EOBs and/or ERA payment information into your practice management system.
  3. Starting with the claims NEWER than the timely filing date, work claims oldest to newest, biggest payer to smallest payer until all claims have been addressed. Each claim should be addressed by starting at the END of the process and working your way back to initial submission.

    1. Verify a payment hasn’t been made but wasn’t posted.
    2. Identify any denial on the Remits
      1. Be sure to submit these as corrected claims, not originals!
    3. Identify any rejection that may be outstanding.
      1. These will usually be found at the clearinghouse.
    4. Make sure the claim was initially filed by looking at the Clearinghouse and/or PM system.

Working your aging fully during this time can help your practice maintain some cash flow during these trying times. We hope you are able to fulfill a need for productivity while staying safe.


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Tags: Resources, Coding & Billing

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