Do you ever feel like keeping up with Accounts Receivable makes your head spin? We totally get it and want to give you pointers on how to spend less time on AR.
By using insight from both angles, as a dental practitioner and as a business owner, you’ll be better able to develop an effective strategy to run your office more efficiently. In order to protect your practice from going under, it’s important to realize that a business cannot operate on “debt,” and that your finances will need to be sorted out.
Managing Accounts receivable (AR) has been a financial burden for many dental offices across the nation. Staying on top of office finances requires organization and time, which a lot of dental offices simply don’t have.
Improving medical accounts receivable in healthcare necessitates proactive revenue cycle management and the elimination of any inefficiencies that may hold your office back. Examples include investing time and effort in improving the administrative side, running AR reports, and tracking claims so that providers can recover revenue that would be otherwise lost.
If stacks of old accounts receivable begin to pile up, you may want to consider using an automated revenue cycle management (RCM) solution to handle reimbursement collection, and keep your finances in order.
Let’s get started
What is Accounts Receivable?
The accounts receivable balance is the sum owed to your practice for services already delivered but not yet collected. In other words, AR is a metric that quantifies your uncollected output. Seeing a high AR balance as a cost of doing business is not the correct way to view it. Payments from patients should be paid off promptly, and not continue to linger on for an extended time. While some accounts receivable are healthy, a large AR balance can significantly impact your business, from collection percentage to overall profitability, if not properly managed.
Start with Verifying Data
With a proactive strategy in place for managing patients’ information, you can address AR issues head-on. Dental practices revenue that amass huge amounts of AR over time, tend to do so because the check-in process is inadequate. Ensure that your system has up-to-date patient information including their address, pre-authorized payment method, insurance information, and other pertinent data. Being upfront with patients about any out-of-pocket expenses on uncovered procedures is important to avoid billing issues.
Make Obligations Clear to Patients
Ensuring that patients understand the importance of their recommended treatment and what expectations to have, is imperative for a good follow through and prevents miscommunication. Transparency benefits both patients and dental offices. Honest communication enables you to win over patient trust and long-term loyalty, along with providing clearly understood information about treatments and what a lack of proper treatment might entail in the future.
Persuading patients to seek preventive care and treatment can prove to be one of the most difficult components for many practices. It necessitates conversing with patients at their own level in a convincing and concise manner. These conversations may take more than a few minutes, but the payback will be more appointments added to your schedule.
Consequences of Revenue Leakage
Losing revenue to under-billing that has gone unnoticed, is a tough pill to swallow. The cost of revenue leakage can be significant enough to damage a practice if it continuously accrues over the year. Automation of billing and financial aspects of the practice has become a sure way to overcome Revenue Leakage, that thousands of practices have taken on.
Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)
Practices that are stumped on how to reduce days in accounts receivable, or lack the resources to assess their current processes, have the option of automating their entire RCM process. How? The key is to use an automated solution that will cut down on accounts receivable and revenue loss, and will provide the advantage of data and revenue cycle management upgrades.
RCM solutions use experience and big data analytics to pinpoint where providers have the most trouble with AR. Integrating your electronic health records to collect all charges, assure code accuracy, and automatically resubmit claims quickly, addresses many potential administrative errors through revenue and accounts receivable cycles.
Ways to Reduce Days on Accounts Receivable
Many providers find that evaluating their systems is one of the simplest ways to enhance their medical accounts receivable. ARs decipher the age of invoices, and transfer it into revenue leakage when process inefficiencies and oversights go unchecked.
Establish Patient Expectations and Collect Patient Portions Promptly
When patients know what to expect from the start, they’ll have fewer billing surprises, and will be more willing to pay their portion on time. The best way to establish expectations is to communicate them before services are rendered.
It’s easy for patients to forget about outstanding bills if they receive them too far after service. Make it a priority to collect patient payments at check-in and immediately after treatment. It will help ensure prompt payment and minimize your days on AR. Taking on an automated AR solution will ensure faster collections of payments by providing patients with an easy payment route (Text/Email).
Charge entry refers to creating or entering the initial invoice for a customer in the company’s accounting system. In charge entry, a customer’s record of charges allows payment to be collected from that customer. Charge entry is necessary to provide customers with proper billing information and ensure that they receive credit for any payments they make on their accounts.
Claims submissions can be a tedious and error-prone process that leads to unnecessary costs for providers. However, with the digitization of the healthcare industry, it’s possible to streamline this critical aspect of patient care with minimal effort and cost.
Tracking accounts receivable can be a tedious and time-consuming task. The best way to track AR is to use a downloadable spreadsheet or a template. Include the date, customer information, amount owed, and the needed information in your spreadsheet. You'll be on your way to tracking down payments past due in no time at all.
Practices may track trend-lines every month, which can be an efficient and practical approach to using AR-days concept. With it, you’ll be able to detect any changes in the entity’s ability to collect a debt due. In addition, they can compare the metrics for the same month of the previous year for more understanding.
Overall, choosing to automate with the most trustworthy accounts receivable management and billing partner like mConsent, can significantly improve your practice’s ability to sustain low AR days. Learn more about mConsent’s automated accounts receivable solution today.