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.

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