Charge to Claim Lag Days and Their Impact on Practice Revenue
By: Ramesh Leelasankar, RCM Manager
It’s a pleasant morning—the sun naturally wakes you up and you feel prepared for the day. Five more minutes couldn’t hurt…Until you finally look at your alarm clock. Oh no—how did you not hear it go off? You jump out of bed, rush to work, and miss an important deadline. Now your project plan is set back at least a few days and the frustration is setting in.
What really went wrong? Was it just this morning’s alarm, or is something bigger to blame? Despite all your multitasking, the start of your project didn’t have enough prep work. Similarly, a medical practice’s revenue has a starting point, which many are too busy to focus on until it’s too late. By then, practices are feeling the pain of charge to claim lag days as they impact revenue.
Simply put, DOS – Claim Submission Date = Charge to Claim Lag Days
For medical billing, the “starting point” is creating a charge. After that, practices complete subsequent activities such as coding accuracy check, front-end edits, clearinghouse quality checks, payor EDI checks, denial and account receivables follow-up, and more before a claim ends up as revenue for the practice.
So, if there is lag in creating and submitting charges, all successive processes will be delayed, affecting your cash flow and possibly resulting in bad debt. Just one misstep creates a domino effect. Sound similar to the bad alarm clock experience from earlier?
No worries! We’re here to strategize with you to reduce lag days:
- Whenever possible, write your progress notes as you talk to the patient. Try to complete them on the same day and use technology to your advantage to streamline the process.
- Do not wait for the patient’s diagnostic tests or lab work to complete the progress notes. You can add them later as an addendum, as they’re only mandatory for future visits and coordination of care for the patient.
- If you have an unusually high backlog:
a. Sort the pending notes by provider and focus on the oldest ones first.
b. Hire a Medical Assistant to help clear the backlog.
c. Our personal favorite—Partner with Saisystems Health!
With our benchmarking pending notes tracking process and trend-setting charge capture app billEHR, Saisystems Heath has reduced client lag days by 50% and sped up cash inflow by 25%. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about collaborating with our team to minimize your lag times and increase practice revenue.