Follow these simple steps to keep your A/R from getting out of control:
Develop a strict regiment.
- Set a routine and stick to it.
- Print A/R reports on a set day each month, and create a schedule to address balances in order of days outstanding, starting with the oldest.
- Tackle insurance balances one payer at a time to avoid jumping back and forth.
- Track progress with notes, including dates and names of insurance representatives that you have spoken to, and actions taken.
Keep a database of useful information.
- Maintain a folder for each insurance company. Include phone numbers, payment policies, fee schedules, and common denial reason codes for quick and easy access and keep it handy when investigating outstanding insurance balances.
- Get your staff involved by showing them the fruits of their hard work, and consider tracking success rates to generate excitement.
- Celebrate when a milestone is reached, such as clearing balances over 120 days. Employees feel more motivated when they can see that their actions are producing results.
- Track instructions, ideas, and actions taken in the notes section of your software for time saving availability.
- Avoid denials and delays for unlisted procedures by becoming familiar with the payer’s policies and if documentation is required, don’t wait, send it with the claim right away.
- Address appeals immediately and include all information that might improve the chances of payment right away. Don’t offer any opportunity for the payer to rebuff your appeal due to lack of information. Time wasted equals money lost.
- Be upfront in communication with patients about collections policies, and don’t let balances build up. The higher the balance, the less likely a patient is to pay it, whereas smaller balances are perceived to be more manageable even when collected more frequently.
Don’t let those dollars slip away. Implement these tools as part of your routine and you will soon see those overwhelming outstanding balances shrink and stay manageable.