Setting up an efficient AR (accounts receivables) management strategy is an important part of any successful business. Even though there is no such company which intends to adopt weak accounts receivable policies but lack of planning or a failure to focus on any function can result in unintended consequences.
Maintaining a healthy cash flow is a major challenge that every healthcare organization faces. A well-managed AR inhibits cash flow and consequently enhances smooth functioning. Below are the 6 steps you can take to improve your A/R:
1. Keep Track of Outstanding Accounts
Keep tracking AR trends,
variations and fluctuations by running AR reports every month. These reports
should include aged receivables so that the progress can be tracked with older
bills. Run these reports from the service date instead of the billing date to
identify billing schedule issues. The MGMA states that outstandings
should not be more than 20% over 90 days. This statistic will ofcourse
vary depending on specialty, practice size and payermix, hence keep these below
points should be considered.
- If you’re taking 10-15 days off, your charges
for that month drop and thus the ratio of new to aged claims drops.
- If you’ve got a high volume of Workers’
Compensation claims, your AR will vary.
Patients with outstanding
balances should be sent frequent notices. If they continue to neglect these
reminders, follow up by phone. Phone calls are more difficult to ignore than
2. Monitor Billing Cycles
Hospitals and medical offices often mail bills once a month,
which affect the cash flow. Instead of month, patient invoices once should be
mailed once a week and insurance invoices twice a week. The quicker a bill
arrives at the proper recipient, the sooner it can be paid.
3. Examine and Audit Claims
The claims should be monitored
and examined for accuracy and completeness. Claim errors increase AR. Prior to
submitting claims, submissions should be reviewed and confirmed. The team
must be able to catch clerical and simple coding errors. Also, ensure
that the claims are been audited for avoiding these issues.
4. Examine Write-Offs
Before a new patient arrives,
verify they are eligible to receive the treatment with their insurance. Once
the eligibility is confirmed, determine how much they will owe based on their
copay and deductibles. Notify them before the appointment so that they
comprehend and understand what to expect. Practice reviewing each potential
write-off before you send it through. Determine which circumstances require
approval. Make sure to exhaust all alternative payment options before
writing-off an unpaid balance.
5. Ensure timely payments
Ensure that each patient submit
their copay before leaving the office. This will decrease aged receivables and
bad debts. Also, ensure that your staff submit a report of copays collected so
that it becomes easy to identify delinquent payments quickly. Many
practices are also estimating benefits ahead of surgery and requesting a
deposit of the full estimate or a percentage therein. Most facilities are
following this protocol and hence patients are becoming accustomed to it.
6. Outsource AR
As hospitals and providers need to focus on patient care, they have less time to save on restorative accounts receivable collections. Most health practices have huge volumes of old medicinal services accounts receivables that are left to become more established, as new medical cases must be tended to. Hence, the best option is to Outsource accounts receivables management services to a professional billing company like Viaante which helps to examine your claims for error, follow-up with denials, and increase your cash flow.
Viaante, a leader of accounts receivable management services in India, has long periods of expertise and experience in giving medical AR services to worldwide healthcare providers. When you outsource AR Management to Viaante, you can profit by competent, cost-effective, reliable and specialised healthcare accounts receivable services.
more, log on to www.viaante.com