If you are considering a career in healthcare accounting. You may be wondering why bookkeeping is so important to medical and healthcare facilities. In particular, what makes the role of the healthcare accountant so important? To the success of a healthcare provider or healthcare organization that they decide to hire an assistant?
Responsible for these tasks?
This is a reasonable question because the more you understand why a particular role is needed, the more you understand why certain tasks or functions within that role are also necessary. In addition, the more important the role is to the operation of a business, the better the future prospects for that particular position.
However, to effectively answer the question about the importance of record keeping and accounting in healthcare, you must first understand that although healthcare professionals have the ultimate mission to save lives, in the end, ultimately, they are still businesses. Therefore, they rely on a process known as revenue cycle management.
WHAT IS REVENUE CYCLE MANAGEMENT?
The Healthcare Business Management Association (HBMA) explains that revenue cycle management, or RCM for short,
“It is the management of the financial transactions that are arising from different medical encounters between the patient and the provider.”
The HBMA adds that these transactions include everything from bill payments and debt collection to data encryption, analytics, and compliance.
To make this concept easier to understand, imagine that you own a furniture store. To stay in business, you have to make sales, right? Therefore, by default, you need to develop a way to generate invoices for the items your customers want to buy. You also need a system to collect their payments, as well as a way to pursue past-due funds in case they don’t pay as promised. But your income needs continue beyond there.
You need the materials to make furniture to have something to sell. So you will also need a way to effectively communicate with your suppliers, ensuring that you can order all the parts and components you need to manufacture your goods. This means providing the exact code for the product you need so you always get the right product.
In addition, you also need to consider all of your day-to-day business expenses, such as rent or mortgage, electricity bills, gas payments, and phone and internet charges. All the money going in and out of your business needs to be tracked so you can be sure you have enough money to keep the business afloat.
This is part of revenue cycle management. This involves developing a process or set of processes for everything related to your business finances, such as invoicing and invoicing, accounts receivable, and recording payments. Related to costs.
Now pass those same kinds of needs to health authorities. Not only do these facilities need a way to bill patients for services rendered and collect dues, but they also need to know how to properly code services into their computer systems so Insurance companies pay their share of the cost.
And, like other businesses, healthcare companies also have day-to-day expenses associated with utilities, payroll, supplies, and everything else needed to provide effective service to patients. This is where bookkeepers and bookkeepers come in.
These financial professionals are often tasked with helping the healthcare business better track and manage inbound and outbound transactions, ensuring that the revenue cycle is properly managed from the first interaction. With the patient until full payment is made. Good accounting and accounting practices mean fewer mistakes.
Once you understand this process, it will be easier for you to understand why bookkeeping is so important to healthcare businesses. If these companies don’t pay attention to their numbers and always know where they stand financially, they won’t stay open long enough to really help their patients.
However every good bookkeeping and accurate accounting practices offer alot of benefits
If you’ve ever forgotten to record a payment you made from your checking account, you’ve experienced the anxiety that incorrect accounts could cost. On an individual level, they can lead to overdraft fees, short-term closure of utilities, and a bit of embarrassment when you call your creditors and explain what happened. However, for a business, the impact could be much worse.
If you don’t accurately track money in versus out, causing your gas or electric utility to shut down your service, patients will not be satisfied. If the patient is not satisfied, they will not return.
Worse still, if mistakes cause your agent manager to make the wrong decision, you may even have to answer to shareholders. This can quickly make the situation worse.
So hiring someone to keep the books and maintain your financial forms reduces the likelihood that your healthcare organization will have to deal with these types of situations. This is especially important when it comes to patient health. And with patient satisfaction.
PLAY A ROLE IN PATIENT SATISFACTION
Another reason why accounting and books are important in healthcare is that the way the facility is run can positively or negatively impact patient satisfaction.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, five factors can influence whether a patient feels satisfied with a particular healthcare professional or company.
Accountants and bookkeepers can play an active role:
- Meet expectations.
- Active communication.
When a healthcare company implements efficient accounting and financial recording processes, patient payments are processed in a timely and professional manner, meeting their expectations. This helps maintain a positive dialogue with the patient as there are fewer problems or concerns, which also affects the second factor.
On the surface, increased satisfaction means that patients are more likely to continue choosing that particular company or healthcare provider. They can even refer their friends, helping the healthcare business grow.
Research also shows that patient satisfaction has other effects as well. For example, a study published in the Journal of Skin and Aesthetic Surgery indicated that in addition to influencing patient retention, patient satisfaction also plays a role in clinical outcomes and complaints. Medical malpractice claims.
In other words, whether a patient is satisfied with a particular healthcare provider can affect the outcome of their treatment. It can also be a deciding factor in filing a lawsuit against the company if things don’t go as planned.
Because bookkeeping and accounting practices are both part of the doctor-patient or provider-patient interaction, these practices can have an indirect impact on patient satisfaction. Core. They can either promote this satisfaction or hinder it. Think back to a time when you did business with a healthcare company. If this company has an efficient checkout and payment process, how would you feel? Conversely, if their process is messy and difficult to manage, how do you feel then?
WHILE ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING PROCESSES MAY SEEM
inconsequential, mainly because they are done behind the scenes, your own interactions with healthcare companies highlight how effective they are. Theirs ultimately influence your experience while also impacting these other factors.
But when does a healthcare professional or facility decide to hire a bookkeeper instead of an accountant or vice versa?
ACCOUNTING DUTIES VS ACCOUNTING TASKS
Sometimes the titles accountant and bookkeeper are considered as the same type , but each one of these specialist are usually responsible for different things. For example, Fundera explains that an accountant is responsible for “managing the day-to-day financial transactions of the business,” while a professional accountant is “more concerned with overseeing the finances.”
In other words, accountants are the people responsible for compiling, organizing, and maintaining the financial records of the healthcare business. In contrast, accounting professionals are often more consultative in that they use a healthcare business’ financial information to help determine its financial position as well as advise the business on steps to take that it can do to grow the business.
Freshbooks adds that each of these roles often has different functions. For example, some of the most common accounting tasks include:
- Create invoice
- Payment costs
- Manage the company’s salary
- Keep track of the company’s accounts payable
- Maintain records of all financial transactions
On the other hand, accounting professionals are often assigned other duties, some of which include:
- Prepare balance sheets, income statements, and other financial statements that businesses must keep and submit
- Analyse financial records and change them if necessary
- Preparation of tax forms and tax advice
- Give basic financial advice
ACCOUNTING JOBS AND MEDICAL ACCOUNTING
Bookkeeping and accounting are essential for the smooth and efficient functioning of healthcare businesses. And both offer the opportunity to enter their respective professions with just an associate degree.
So, if you are ready to play an important role in the healthcare process by providing bookkeeping and accounting-related services, Ultimate Medical Academy offers an associate degree in care accounting. This 2-year program provides the necessary training to work in these types of roles.