Managing accounts receivable is a critical aspect of daily practice management in healthcare, and when accounts go past 90 days, it can present significant challenges. One of the biggest challenges is cash flow management, as delinquent accounts can cause a shortage of funds and impact the ability of the healthcare practice to pay its bills and meet its financial obligations. Additionally, managing delinquent accounts requires significant resources and staff time, which can divert attention away from other important tasks, such as patient care and practice growth initiatives.
Delinquent accounts can also damage the relationship between the healthcare practice and patients or insurance companies, making it more difficult to collect payments in the future. To mitigate these challenges, healthcare practices must have effective accounts receivable management strategies in place and be proactive in following up on delinquent accounts.
Following are some of the strategies for managing delinquent accounts in healthcare and improving the financial health of your practice:
One of the most important steps in reducing delinquent accounts is to verify the insurance information for each patient at the time of service. This includes verifying coverage, benefits, and patient responsibility. Practices should also update insurance information as necessary to ensure claims are processed correctly. Accurate insurance information is critical for timely payment, so practices should have policies and procedures in place to ensure that information is collected and updated consistently.
Collecting co-pays and deductibles upfront can help reduce the likelihood of delinquent accounts. Patients should be informed of their financial responsibility prior to their appointment and provided with a clear explanation of their benefits and what they can expect to pay out of pocket. Practices should have policies in place for collecting patient payments, and staff should be trained on how to effectively communicate with patients about their financial responsibility.
Submitting clean claims with accurate billing and coding information can help ensure claims are processed quickly and accurately, reducing the risk of delinquent accounts. Practices should regularly review their billing and coding processes to identify and correct errors. This may include implementing automated tools to catch and correct errors before claims are submitted. Practices should also track claims to ensure they are processed correctly and paid in a timely manner.
Practices should follow up on all claims to ensure they are processed correctly and paid in a timely manner. This may involve contacting the insurance company or patient to inquire about the status of the claim and taking corrective action if necessary. Practices should also track claims to identify patterns or trends in denials or delayed payments, and take action to address these issues proactively.
Offering payment plans to patients who are unable to pay their balance in full can help reduce the likelihood of delinquent accounts. Practices should work with patients to establish reasonable payment plans that take into account their ability to pay. Payment plans should be documented in writing and clearly communicated to the patient, with terms that are easy to understand and comply with. Practices should also monitor payment plans to ensure they are being adhered to and take action to address any issues as necessary.
Technology can be a powerful tool for managing accounts receivable. Practices should consider utilizing electronic billing and payment systems, automated reminders, and other tools to streamline the billing and payment process and reduce the risk of delinquent accounts. Electronic billing can help reduce errors and speed up the payment process, while automated reminders can help ensure patients are aware of their financial responsibility and remind them to make payments. Practices should also utilize reporting tools to track the status of claims and identify delinquent accounts, so they can take action to address them proactively.
In conclusion, managing delinquent accounts is a critical aspect of healthcare practice management as it can have a significant impact on a practice's financial health. By implementing the strategies outlined above, practices can reduce the likelihood of delinquent accounts and maintain a healthy cash flow. It's important for practices to be proactive in managing accounts receivable and to work with patients and insurance companies to resolve any issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. By doing so, practices can improve their revenue cycle management and focus on providing high-quality care to their patients.
Medical Billers and Coders (MBC) has skilled professionals who specialize in managing the revenue cycle of healthcare practices. As part of their services, MBCs manage accounts receivable and work to reduce delinquent accounts by implementing effective billing and payment processes. We are trained in medical billing and coding, and have a deep understanding of the complex billing and payment systems used in healthcare.
MBCs use their expertise to ensure that claims are processed quickly and accurately, and that payments are received in a timely manner. To know more about our legacy accounts receivable service, email us at: email@example.com or call us at: 888-357-3226.