Smart Strategies for Physicians to Reduce Accounts Receivable

Physicians need to closely monitor the impact health insurance plans have on their revenue cycle management. High Accounts Receivable is an indicator that performance improvements should be made in your practice immediately. A lack an understanding of revenue cycle management can cause internal billing and coding errors, a failure to prioritize patient collections, not properly educating patients about payment policies or not verifying insurance for every patient.

Don’t know what the AR red flags are? Learn by addressing these mistakes:

• Don’t fail to address claim denials. The industry average is 5% to 10% according to the AAFP: https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/practice_management/admin_staffing/FiveKeyMetricsPresentation.pdf. For a positive cash flow, a practice needs to limit theirs to 5%. Denials can be due to coding errors, charge entry mistakes, payer errors, missed payer deadlines, and medical necessity denials. Make sure your practice has clear internal processes in place to help staff members identify errors prior to claims submission.
• Which brings us to our second item: Poorly trained staff. A properly trained staff is your best line of defense for preventing high accounts receivable. A few key ways to address staffing issues are to take measures to hire qualified employees and offer ongoing training programs as needed. Identify the most common issues leading to high accounts receivables in your practice and train staff where applicable. Consider offering incentives!
• Not tracking patient collections. With high deductible health plans on the rise, patient education and well-defined payment expectations are imperative. Training your staff to effectively communicate financial policy is crucial to successful patient collections. Look at implementing the following financial policies:
1. Require patient to pay at time of service.
2. Implement a credit card on file program.
3. Update patient billing information per visit.
4. Explain insurance benefits and financial responsibility to patients.
• Lack of write-off review. Applying the wrong adjustments to charges is one of the most common payment posting mistakes. Be sure to review write-offs for errors and opportunities to improve revenue cycle performance. Make a spreadsheet of your fee schedule and reimbursement rate from each payor, and track contractual write offs closely.
• Not addressing non-contractual write-offs which are within your control. Some examples include: filing an insurance claim past the payer deadline, administrative or service errors, and writing off debts to transfer to a collections agency.
• Ignoring technology. Online payment options have been shown to accelerate collections from self-pay and insured patients and greatly reduce the number of accounts outsourced to collection agencies.

Contact Us: Revenue cycle management is a complex interaction of services, billing codes, benefit analysis, and successful invoicing, etc. Now that high-deductible health plans are more common, reimbursement patterns have shifted and doctors must develop good ways of interacting with patients to encourage payment of their bills. Our Fuoco Group and TFG Health Professionals can help you put a financial policy in place. We can design an audit process to help you track delinquent accounts prior to patient visit, and have our accountants analyze financial reports at month end to identify problems. Help and a more profitable practice is just a phone call away at 855-534-2727.
 

In The News

The New York Real Estate Journal recently featured a "Ones To Watch" Spotlight, focusing on both up and coming professionals as well as industry veterans across all areas of real estate. Congratulations to Lou Fuoco CPA, CEPA, for being included in this prestigious group of “OTW” for 2019!
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Fuoco Group and TFG Related Entities are proud to announce that Managing Partner Lou J. Fuoco, CPA, CEPA, CVB, has received the 2020 Palm Beach Post Community Choice Award for Best Accountant in Palm Beach County. Lou Fuoco and the Fuoco Group won this award in 2019 as well.
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Fuoco Group and TFG Related Entities are proud to announce that Fuoco Group’s Hauppauge Office, was voted #2 overall in the category of “Accounting Firm Less Than 100 Employees” in the 2019 Long Island Business News Reader Rankings. The Firm was also honored to be recognized as a “top three” Best Accounting Firm Finalist.
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