Effective medical collections procedures are essential in maintaining a thriving and profitable medical practice. To assist U.S. medical professionals and healthcare organizations, the American Medical Association (AMA) provides an extensive archive of practice management resources focused on the billing and collections process. The association’s website offers both open-access and member-only content.
The Practice Management tab on the AMA website consists of eight subsections — Managing Your Practice, Medicare & Medicaid, Claims Processing & Practice Revenue, Medical Liability Reform, Current Procedural Terminology, Private Payer Reform, HIPPA Compliance, and Physician Payment Resource Center.
Within the subsection of Claims Processing & Practice Revenue, medical professionals will find content on improving and simplifying the claims and billing process. Resources are divided under two topics — Managing Patient Payments and Managing Health Plan Payments.
Managing Patient Payments
Managing Patient Payments helps healthcare organizations “maximize efficiencies” in the medical collections process with PDFs and video presentations on point-of-care (POC) pricing and collecting, and maximizing post-visit collections. The two-part webinar, “Helping Patients Understand Financial Responsibility at the Time of Service,” examines seven steps toward providing POC pricing and collecting payments from patients at the time of service:
- Understanding the organization’s insurance contract
- Knowing when to collect from patients
- Verifying insurance eligibility
- Calculating a patient’s financial responsibility
- Securing payment from patients
- Documenting the patient payment and submitting the claim
- Tracking collected payments
Managing Health Plan Payments
Managing Health Plan Payments resources serve to guide medical practices in implementing standard electronic transactions that “reduce the staff time spent on revenue cycle functions.” Toolkit topics include overpayment recovery and claims appeals, electronic transaction for administration simplification, approaches to addressing prior authorization issues, and administrative simplification advocacy. The physician payment resource center located within this section provides webinars, articles and contact information on Medicare, commercial payer success, and contracts with peers and plans.
For further support, physicians, practice staff, and others interested in medical collections are encouraged to join the AMA Administrative Simplification LinkedIn Group. The private group discusses industry updates, regulatory developments, automation, electronic standards and other issues affecting medical practices.
Navigating the Payment and Medical Collections Process
The Navigating the Payment Process page displays a wealth of information such as newly published blog articles, links to essential tools and resources, and featured industry news. A sampling of blog recent articles include:
- “Moving to New Payment Models: What you Need to Know.”
- “This is How Physicians Get Paid. See Where You Fit.”
- “How to manage your online reputation: Top 4 tips.”
As the largest association of physicians, MDs, DOs and medical students in the U.S., the AMA works to improve healthcare organization’s operations and revenue cycle management by providing educational materials and other resources on medical collections.
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