Managing accounts receivable efficiently is an important element in achieving medical billing success. In our increasingly complex healthcare environment with regulatory changes and monetary hurdles, efficient account receivables (A/R) management is critical to maintain a healthy cash flow and financial stability.
The A/R cycle entails tracking and collecting outstanding payments in a timely manner. It involves several steps, from submitting medical bills, following up on unpaid claims, and patient billing to payment posting and collections management. To assess overall financial health and to identify areas for improvement, a medical practice needs to measure days in accounts receivable. A key performance indicator (KPI) shows the average number of days it takes to collect payments for services rendered.
Lack of policies and procedures and internal oversight controls can lead to loss of revenue. This can be due to a multitude of factors including:
- Failure to collect patient co-pay and co-insurance
- Not having a trained team to manage the process
- Failure to manage denials effectively
- Unnecessary write-offs
- Insufficient focus on patient collections
- Having an ineffective insurance eligibility verification process
- Inaccurate coding
- Failure to keep pace with patient demands
- Failure to measure KPIs consistently
The overall accounts receivable process is constantly evolving with numerous challenges. While you may not consider accounts receivable challenges as the ultimate determinant of success, improving time in A/R can be a game changer. Navigating the accounts receivable landscape from challenges to solutions can revolutionize your practice.
Below is a list of solutions your practice should focus on to improve accounts receivable:
(1) Financial Policies
Have a daily operating procedure and make sure your team understands it well so they can proactively inform patients before they see the physician. When writing this policy, it is essential to use language that patients can easily understand and it should avoid using technical terms or jargon.
(2) Transparency and Responsibility
Trends point to patients delaying payment of medical bills due to high deductibles in their health plans. This can be mitigated by ensuring the patient knows their financial responsibility and is informed about the cost of their services beforehand. Be as transparent as possible.
(3) Workflow Management
Your front office efficiency impacts your entire operation. This essential group of employees is typically the face and voice of your practice. Whether you manage gathering and/or verifying information pre-appointment or at check-in, having a consistent and efficient workflow is imperative to success.
(4) Educating Staff / Patients
The key to efficient workflow is having an educated team and patients. When everyone understands how important their role is in the process, you breed an efficient environment. An empowered team member knows that their actions will result in overall success. An educated patient usually feels more satisfied with their experience.
(5) Policy and Procedures for Physician Practices
Don’t waste another minute losing money to accounts receivable inefficiency. At Comprehensive Physician Consulting, we have the expertise to manage accounts receivable. We can help you create or update your financial policies, develop a policy and procedure manual, train staff and improve workflow. Contact us today at 856-888-7796 or online at comprehensivephysicianconsulting.com.