Most patients don’t immediately pay for services. This is especially unavoidable in the case of emergency services, when the patient doesn’t have the time to look over your fees before calling for an ambulance or being rushed into urgent care. In these cases, although you may record their fee as an asset, it functions similarly to a line of credit that your patient needs to repay within a certain time period.
You rely on patients to repay their balance in a timely manner, but collecting on AR (Accounts Receivable) isn’t always easy. The patient may not be responsive to your collection attempts, or their insurance company may be denying claims. You can’t make money when you have patients who don’t pay. So what do you do when your AR is greater than 25 days?
Why Is My AR Unpaid?
The problem may stem from your internal billing methods. Inefficiency in the workplace, whether from employees with bad time management or an outdated system for financial records and invoicing, can raise your AR. The hardest part is that you may not even know it, so it’s critical to ensure that your own collection efforts are consistent and begin immediately after services are rendered.
It’s also important to make sure there are no errors in your billing because an inaccurate invoice is guaranteed to raise your AR. When you find a problem with billing, you have to first identify and solve the issue before your patient can even be properly billed.
Claim denials are another leading issue in long AR. A skilled team can identify the reason for the denial and correct the mistake without delay, but this can be frustrating and confusing (and therefore a roadblock) for staff who lack skills in this area.
If this is an ongoing headache at your organization, it may be worthwhile to consider outsourcing your claims and billing, especially if your staff is already bogged down with other responsibilities. With professional RCM medical billing services, you won’t have to worry about your team communicating with insurance providers because they’ll take care of it for you, including the refiling of denied claims.
How Can I Reduce My AR Payment Time?
Luckily, the methods for reducing your AR are also excellent ways to maximize your entire revenue stream. Efficient collections is all about having good workflow, updated internal systems, and a billing team with good time management.
Here are some good tips.
Be consistent. Keep track of all claims and unpaid bills, and make sure to follow up with the insurance company or patient. Sometimes, they don’t want to pay. But other times, things just pass people by and they don’t even realize it. If a patient doesn’t remember that they owe money, they aren’t going to pay you on time. Both phone calls and emails are reliable methods for contacting your patients with reminders.
Make things convenient. Automation can transform your organization. It’s also a lifesaver when it comes to consistency, reducing time and human error in every step of the process. However, it isn’t the only way to go digital with your system. Do you have a website for patients to view and pay for their bills? These days, most people prefer to handle their finances online, without human interaction. Who wants to hop on the phone or drive to an office when they don’t have to? Make things convenient, and you’ll notice a big difference.
Stay up-to-date. Make it a point to keep your billing accurate and up-to-date. This requires quick updates to your records, trained staff who aren’t prone to mistakes, and a modern system for invoices and collections. If you’re still struggling to manage the AR side of things, there are steps you can take for improvement.
What If My AR Is Still Over 25 Days?
If you’ve taken the time to adjust your internal methods and find that your AR still hasn’t improved, it may be time to hire a professional. Your organization deserves to thrive, but that’s hard to do when you’re busy worrying about unpaid bills and issues in your revenue system. When your revenue management cycle is organized and effective, you can spend your time where it matters most: on your patients.
If your collection problem feels overwhelming or unsolvable, it’s time to get help. Our team at Ultimate Billing can help to reduce the time of payments and maximize your profits overall with our RCM medical billing services. Set up a quick consult with our team today to learn more.