MGMA 2009: Bringing in the money, recession or not

No doubt, it's a darned shame that the economy has tanked for a couple of years--and that patient revenue has been a bit slow--but that won't help you make payroll. On the other hand, there's quite a few sessions at this year's MGMA conference could help you bill more effectively, and collect more of what you're owed.

One way to get what you're owed is to make sure your staff is billing efficiently--but how can you tell the best billers from the lesser performers? In "Get the Money in the Door: How to Hire and Manage Billing Staff" (CON 312, Oct. 12, 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., room 702/706), medical practice administrator Sarah Holt has some suggestions on how to hire and manage billing staffers to maximize your collections. She'll offer interviewing techniques to help you recognize strong candidates, tips for training them for high performance, and stories from real life that illustrate how her lessons play out.

If you're pretty confident your billing staff is on top of things, maybe you'll want to take a look at your overall collections process. Check out "Revenue Cycle Analysis, Part 1" (CON 505, Oct. 12, 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., room 705/711) to get a top-level overview of the encounter, billing and collections process, plus ideas for improving how you handle each step. Frank Cohen, senior analyst with MIT Solutions Inc., will offer ideas on how to take practical steps such as developing a defensible fee schedule, analyze the value of managed care contracts and build process and value stream maps of the patient visit cycle.

Wouldn't it be great if you found out that by doing some data analysis and adjusting your process, you could free up money you didn't have before? Maybe you will...