If your medical practice has accounts receivable that’s greater than 30 days, it means you need to optimize the way you collect money owed so you start seeing more cash in the bank — fast. A healthy cash flow is one of the top indicators of long-term business success, and the sooner you figure out how to improve your RCM, the sooner you’ll start seeing more profit.
Actionable Tips to Improve Your AR So You Can Maximize Profit
One of the reasons so many healthcare facilities struggle with their AR is because they don’t have an effective and efficient RCM. Healthcare professionals are busy and stretched to the max on any given day; getting them to sit down and evaluate their RCM is practically unthinkable. However, taking a few days to look at numbers and processes so you can figure out what’s broken and affecting your profit can turn your numbers around in a big way.
Healthcare is about taking care of patients, but you can’t take care of them if you can’t pay your staff and all the bills. So before you let your AR go beyond 30 days, try these things, all of which are completely doable with a little extra time and attention.
Spruce Up Your Client Relationships
When you focus on building solid relationships with your patients, you create more goodwill. That means patients are happier to cooperate with you during the collections process. So, it’s essential to focus on improving your customer service. It seems like a very, very small thing, and most facilities don’t bother with it. That’s why it’s such a big deal.
Not sure where to start? Provide training for front desk and direct care staff to ensure proper handling of patients. Encouraging them to welcome patients and even offer them a drink while in the waiting room can go a long way.
Be Clear About Your Payment Terms
Make sure your payment policy is boldly stated instead of adding it as a small-font afterthought at the invoice’s bottom. Do you read the small print? Probably not. Most of us don’t. And while your patients probably do read the fine print so they can avoid any surprises, you shouldn’t make the terms of payment difficult or unclear.
This is an easy fix, with big, bold lettering on any paperwork, and clear communication about it (both in person and on paper). You should request payment in less than 30 days and outline the penalty for not making payment on time, whether that’s a written notice or late payment fees. This is bound to reduce your AR significantly. Again, if your patients like you and trust you, they’re more likely to pay you — not to mention, come back again, and potentially provide referrals.
Give Patients Multiple Payment Options
If your patients have to jump through hoops to make a payment, that may explain why your AR is greater than 30 days. No one wants to pay bills, but if they have to, they want it to be as easy as possible. Simplify things for your facility and your patients by offering them the convenience of paying however they want, including by cash, debit card, or credit card.
When you provide patients with their preferred payment method, they’re more likely to pay on time. You can also improve your practice’s flexibility around payments by offering payment plans and setting up an online platform where patients can quickly and easily make payments with just a few clicks.
Follow Up On Outstanding Invoices Frequently
If you have a lukewarm approach to payment collections, chances are your accounts receivable is longer than it should be. The good news is you don’t have to be aggressive when carrying out regular follow-ups with patients. Instead, set up a standardized follow-up system for outstanding invoices. Sending friendly but persistent reminders will keep patients conscious of their financial obligations to you.
For instance, you could send out a note with the bill the same day the service takes place as a courtesy. Then, you can follow up the next week so they know you’re still waiting on payment. After that, a monthly reminder can serve as a good way to keep patients informed about their outstanding balance. A simple phone call can do wonders, too. Bills can be overwhelming, but calling your patients directly can make a big impact. Letting them know they can set up a payment plan can be the difference between getting some money for your facility on a regular basis and getting none at all — especially if it goes to collections and they refuse to pay.
Partner Up with Professionals
Most facilities use advanced medical billing software to track patients all the way from registration, scheduling, and claims submission to the final payment owed. This type of software doesn’t always guarantee maximum reimbursement, though, because the efforts of maximizing collections and reducing AR takes a considerable amount of skill and time.
So why not save yourself the hassle by outsourcing to a billing and revenue cycle management company? Some of the most profitable facilities choose to invest in professional RCM medical billing services, as it reduces in-house operating costs and ensures staff has more time to do what they do best.
When you make the investment, beyond improving your numbers, you can expect a boost in your reputation because of increased patient satisfaction (and therefore, referrals). There are other benefits associated with partnering with a healthcare billing specialist, including improved cash flow, greater financial control over your practice, and more peace of mind.
Learn How RCM Medical Billing Services Can Improve Your AR
According to a recent report, the medical billing outsourcing market is expected to expand in leaps and bounds over the next few years. By outsourcing your medical billing, you can increase profit for your facility and stay one step ahead of your industry peers.
You can start the journey to maximizing your collections and revenue for your practice by setting up a 15-minute consultation with our experienced team. Once we understand your unique requirements and needs, we’ll collaborate with you to improve your collections and revenue. Don’t wait — contact us today!