Every Dollar Counts – Looking at your Accounts Receivable Strategy


While there are always some changes and modifications you can do to make your Accounts Receivable (AR) better perform, it is tantamount during this public health emergency. This is especially true as some payers have changed some of their policies during the pandemic (like formatting changes with claims), and practices need to stay up to date.

Practices should look at their current strategy and potentially adopt new tactics to optimize revenue. This can be accomplished by approaching the outstanding and aging accounts differently and focusing on driving revenue from old, outstanding AR. Consider for example, taking your accounts from a 45-day review period to 25-30 days as a performance goal. As you look at your older AR accounts, resolving them quickly to ensure you aren’t at risk of timely filing. Once you resolve the old AR, your team can focus on liquidating new receivables more efficiently.

Another tactic is to ensure that you have gathered all the correct information upon registration. It has been reported that more than 42% of claim rejections are due to registration errors. Gathering the correct information includes the details, like obtaining accurate insurance information and eligibility verification. In addition, front-end staff need to understand the importance of prior authorization and communicating with patients about the collection of out-of-pocket costs.

As you create a new strategy, communicate your goals to your AR team. They need to understand the nuances of certain payers, especially those that require entire claims being clean, otherwise the claim may reject. Some payers may even require documentation to support medical necessity of treatment. Training your staff and communicating the requirements by payers will only help to improve the number of days in AR. But it does not end with the business staff, providers need to understand their responsibility and the importance of completing their documentation timely.

As you communicate with your AR team, communicate your new goals. It may be as simple as tracking productivity of your staff on the current AR or decreasing your days to file. You may consider breaking your staff into teams, potentially having the seasoned employees on different teams to work with challenging payers. Your goals may also include focusing on cleaning up accounts, including those claims that were denied yet need follow-up phone calls or appeals.

Especially during the pandemic, staff may have been working remotely and may continue to do so, while others may return to the office. Has your practice asked the AR team about their challenges – at home or in the office?  Has your practice dedicated enough staff to handle the outstanding volumes? Maybe a challenge is just as simple as staff spending too much time waiting on your one office printer to be available. You also need to consider if your practice is using outdated technology. Tech that automates charge capture will help you attain those goals.
 
If your practice might benefit from an external view of your AR strategy, or you have questions for the Business Optimization team, reach out at practiceconsulting@amerisourcebergen.com.
 

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