Giving Accounts Receivable a Spring Cleaning

Giving Accounts Receivable a Spring Cleaning

Let’s talk about spring cleaning for your A/R. I’m not interested in whether you’ve found the rainy day motivation to dust the top of the fridge or sweep under the dryer—how you roll at home is your business, and you’ve got my vote if you’d rather outsource that kind of chore. What I want to know is whether you’ve been tackling spring maintenance for your facility’s business office.

That’s right. Spring cleaning for your business office. What are you doing to make sure that the right checks and balances are in place, ensuring that your team and your facility are set up for success? Since you’ve probably never thought about spring cleaning your processes, let’s focus the conversation on some simple bare essentials for A/R success. The key is,

“Clean information in, means clean claims out.”

Just ask yourself if your team is paying close attention to the following.

  1. First, verifying insurance and collecting what payment your office can ask for prior to or at time of service is critical. Verifying insurance means you know the ins and outs of a patient’s coverage, while asking for approved payments upfront means you’ll be chasing fewer payments on the backend.
  2. Second, be timely and accurate when filing claims. Really there’s nothing else I can say and no other way to put it—stay on schedule and make sure to check, double check and (have someone else) triple check.
  3. Finally, follow up. This seems to be the first thing that business offices let drop off the radar, but it’s really the one thing that can help keep you on track. And follow up is a fulltime job, so someone in your office should be dedicated to nothing but; depending on how many accounts you have, remember that it’s best to have one fulltime employee for every 800 accounts.

I’ve been in this business for a long time, and I understand how easy it is to get mired down in your center’s daily activities. Just keep in mind how quickly and easily things can pile up on you—no follow up means A/R keeps growing, then accounts get behind and out of date and require special attention, then current accounts needing attention get ignored. Next thing you know, people are hiding under their desks because they’re too overwhelmed to touch another task.

If you’ve got an office full of professionals chasing their own tails while they’re trying to chase down patient payments, consider where you can offload a thing or two. You wouldn’t think twice about hiring someone to help clean your house (remember, I support you on that front.)—so hire a temp or outsource small pieces of work to a professional group like in2itive.

Make sure your staff is focusing on what’s in front of them, rather than panicking about what’s lining up behind it. Consider what corners of your business office could use some seasonal attention.

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