3 Ways to Optimize Financial Counseling Operations

Out of pocket costs can cause cancer patients a lot of stress and lead to negative outcomes like accumulating debt or skipping treatments. We know that 25% of cancer patients report medical noncompliance risk and are 2.5x more likely to file for bankruptcy than other adults due to financial toxicity.

Proactively tackling the risk of financial toxicity can reduce financial stress for your patients and your practice. Use these tips and strategies to improve your financial counseling performance.

1. Invest in your people & process

Growing revenue in community oncology is difficult due to increased payer requirements and reduced reimbursement rates. Effectively resolving aged accounts receivable (A/R) and denials can unlock more revenue that you can invest in your practice and people to better serve your patients.

The financial health of your patients is so important to maintain over the course of their treatments. To do that, you need to source and hire strong financial counselors and implement policies that enable your team to thrive.

  • Recruit and invest in the right people for the role
  • Clearly define role responsibilities and daily priorities
  • Build policies and procedures to pre-schedule patient meetings with financial counselors

Key Performance Indicators to Track:

  • Total patient meetings scheduled per counselor
  • Total patient meetings held per counselor
  • Root causes for incomplete patient meetings

2. Perform comprehensive benefit verification

In order to have sincere and actionable financial discussions with patients, you need to come to the conversation with an understanding of patients’ scheduled treatments, insurance coverage and benefits.

  • Enable complete and quality benefit verification
  • Drive alignment and communication across your teams
  • Know your allowables to calculate responsibility

Key Performance Indicators to Track:

  • Benefit verification rate
  • Collection rate by volume
  • Collection rate by dollars

3. Keep a pulse on assistance resources

Once you have the right team in place and benefit verification is running smoothly, you need to equip and empower your counselors to do their jobs well. Reward your team’s initiative to track down assistance resources and share information.

  • Enable and incentivize treasure hunting for assistance sources
  • Get smart on the types of assistance available in your market
  • Centrally document and update resources

Key Performance Indicators to Track:

  • Total assistance collections
  • Comprehensive list of available assistance programs

Want to learn more about Flatiron Revenue Cycle Management?

We work with our clients to drive financial performance by implementing our best practice playbook, including these financial counseling strategies. After implementing these tactics, one practice achieved 90% monthly average point of service collections and saw a 112% increase in monthly average patient collections.

This article was originally published on flatiron.com, please click here to view the source content.

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