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 letters.
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.
To know more, log on to www.viaante.com