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Do Bad Debts or Write Offs Represent 5% or More of Your Medical Billing?

December 11, 2013



As long as patients are forced to pay bigger share of their medical bills, bad debt will remain a cause of concern for the healthcare providers. Even when the patients gain insurance coverage under the healthcare reform, the patients still end up paying major chunk of their medical bills.

Although the healthcare industry is least affected by the recession, it is still not immune to more careful spending. These days, more and more patients are paying out-of-pocket instead of being covered by third-party payers.

MGMA and other industry studies conclude

Bad Debt and write-offs are becoming increasing frequent and can represent 5% or more of billings.
Approximately 50% of patient accounts with capacity to pay were written off as bad debt, instead of being re-billed or outsourced.
Over 17% patient eligible for government assistance or charity care programs are also written off.
Most practices leave over 24% of their revenue uncollected.

Bad debts can be a major cause of concern if it exceeds the 5% mark. Many healthcare providers do a good job in managing patient receivables and associated bad debt expenses, but it still remains a cause of concern for majority of physicians. Improved revenue cycle performance to reduce bad debts and denials can account for 2-4 percent of additional net patient revenue, which can amount to big money for certain providers.

Three easy steps to prevent bad debts at your practice

  • Know the case:
    The first and the foremost step towards preventing bad debts at your practice is to know the case. As a physician, it is important to know about the case from medical standpoint, but for reducing bad debts at your practice, you should also know about the case from the demographic standpoint as well. You should know about your patient's social security, date of birth, driver's license number, etc. so that you can prepare as per the situation.
  • Know the patient:
    The next step is to know the patient. You should be aware about the background of the patient you are providing your service so that you can prepare yourself against the bad debts. You should have proper information about your patient so that you feel confident tha you will be able to collect from, if the situation arises.
  • Know when to escalate the matter:
    The final step towards preventing your bad debts at your practice is to know when to escalate the matter. If someone has not paid the bills and the follow-up goes beyond three month, it is your responsibility to send them statements and escalate the follow-up. It is not healthy for your practice to just accept the fact that you now have a bad debt.

MBC helps physicians reduce bad debts:

  • MBC has minimal defect approach to claims handling that decreases denials substantially while reducing A/R days to less than 20 in most cases.
  • Our connection to eligibility systems makes sure that bad debts and write-offs are virtually absent in your claim
  • We submit clean and complete claims that virtually eliminates the need for claims resubmission
  • Our claims team takes care of lost transactions, duplicate batches, and mundane redundancies in your claims management operations
  • Our innovative workflow management system aides in improving cash predictability, claims-on-hand, and payment cycle days
  • We provide optimized turnaround time in cash payment receipts
  • We provide hands-on solution for reducing operating costs and improving scalability with lower per claim filing costs

All these actions help reduce bad debts and increase your practice efficiency and revenue.

Medicalbillersandcoders.com has been successfully helping clients improve bad debts and write-offs to increase revenue. MBC is the largest consortium of billers and coders providing medical billing across all 50 US States in varied specialties. Our team constantly works to identify opportunities to help improve accuracy, compliance, and productivity in the health care system.

MBC constantly aims to prevent bad debts and write-offs by vigilant monitoring of claims submitted to improve accuracy, compliance and productivity

 

Category : Accounts Receivables / Claims Denials