Keeping accounts receivable days to an acceptable level is a challenge for any medical practice management system, especially when the source of excess days comes from the insurance companies. If your billing department can single out payers that are racking up 90 A/R days or more, that can have a cascading effect on your cash flow, especially if the patient owes a balance. Delayed claim processing delays your ability to bill the patient. The more time passes, the more likely those accounts will turn into bad debt and enter default. Not to mention, insurance payers are seldom happy when they receive a bill several months after the visit. To improve cash flow and raise patient satisfaction, these strategies will help billing departments focus on slow claims and discover the underlying problems.
Target the problem bills
Using reporting and tracking tools, single out payers with accounts with 90 or more A/R days. Then, it’s a matter of prioritizing which ones need to be escalated and resolved.
Pay attention to denials and rebills
Denials and rebills also impede payment. Before these bills are brought to the attention of the payer, review these bills to identify and focus on the underlying causes the clinic can address or fix.
Focus on financial clearance
Track the percentage of accounts that on the same date of service have completed authorization and verification. This should also include same-day payment from patients. With a focused effort on collecting in-visit co-pays and minimums for the deductibles from insurance payers, the results should start coming through. Improving the percentage of financial clearance rates correlates with fewer eligibility denials and lower A/R days.
Meet regularly for updates and progress
As a matter of routine, the members of the billing department should meet weekly to review the status of this accounts receivable management strategy. Along with that, keep the rest of the medical staff apprised of the A/R days and give regular updates on the goal, progress and projections. Everyone in the office can play a role in helping to reduce A/R days.
Work with an A/R partner
An accounts receivable partner with expertise in healthcare accounts can do so much more than pursue bad debt. When late bills reach the collections stage, some may require additional insurance verification or a patient may request that a denied claim be appealed. The professionals at IC System can facilitate those next steps on behalf of your clinic.
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About the Author: Brian Eggert
Brian Eggert is a business development specialist and writer for IC System, one of the largest receivables management companies in the United States. With 18 years in the collection industry, Brian's experience includes operations, client service, proposal writing, blogging, content creation, and web development.