Need an ASC New Year's Resolution? Focus on A/R
Still looking for New Year’s resolutions that can help make 2019 your ASC’s best year yet? There are a lot of areas that may need improvement in your ASC, but let's address what's likely the biggest elephant in the room: your mounting accounts receivable (A/R). It may be one of the most challenging areas to approach, but it can also be one of the most rewarding to improve.
Here are two particularly worthwhile goals for ASC A/R and some tips on how to achieve them.
1. Get A/R days below 50
Determine your days in A/R. Add charges for last three months and divide by business days in that time period. Divide this number by the current balance in your A/R.
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
Audit A/R for errors.
Adjust off any contractual allowances that were not adjusted at time of posting.
Write off any small balances (e.g., $5, $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 insurance, Medicaid).
Assign a collector to work each category for three days (oldest, highest balances first) and then move on to the next category. Repeat this cycle.
If there are large amount of patient overdue balances, consider asking collectors to work a couple of hours of evening overtime to call on patient accounts when working patients may more likely be at home. Alternatively, hire a temporary, part-time collector to work these accounts.
Regularly audit the results of your endeavors. Benchmark your center against national standards. Compare A/R balances for like-sized centers, collections activity, case costing and other viable categories that affect A/R against other centers nationwide. You may be surprised at how quickly your concentration on A/R shows positive results.