Improving Your ASC's Accounts Receivable: 4 Worthwhile Goals

Even in the best of surgery centers, there is always room for improvement. Here are four goals that will help you better manage your ASC’s accounts receivable (A/R) and steps to take to achieve these objectives.

1. Get A/R days below 50

  • Analyze trends by payer.
  • Delegate oldest, highest balances to collectors.
  • Follow up on appeals.

2. Rid A/R of 80% of the accounts over 120 days old

  • Adjust off any contractuals that have not been adjusted at time of posting.
  • Write off any small balances below $10.
  • Offer a one-time discount of 25% to patient balance accounts if they pay in full in 30 days.
  • Divide the over-120 insurance accounts into categories (e.g.,  managed care, Medicare, workers’ compensation, commercial, Medicaid).
  • Assign a collector to work each category for three days (oldest, highest balances first) and then to move onto the next category.  Repeat this cycle.
  • If facing large amount of patient balances, consider adding a part-time evening shift or asking regular collectors to work a few hours of overtime to call overdue patient accounts and run patient statements.

3. Set reachable goals for staff

  • Determine what areas need improving.
  • Set a realistic timeframe for accomplishing these changes.
  • Divide the task into monthly or weekly increments.
  • Post these goals on a bulletin board using colorful graphs so everyone may follow the progress.
  • Consider offering incentives.

4. Benchmark your center against national standards

  • Check with ASC societies (national and state) and benchmarking organizations to obtain standards.
  • Measure A/R, collections activity, case costing and other figures against similar centers nationwide.

As with any new goals, don't expect to achieve your objectives in the first few days or weeks. Sustained effort will result in improving the long-term financial health of your ASC.

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