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5 Things to Look for in a Medical AR Vendor

Searching for a medical AR vendor can be extremely difficult, especially if you’ve never outsourced before. Every AR vendor has a unique set of qualities, each of which can affect their collection efforts. That’s why it’s crucial to know what qualities to look for in a good vendor. In this article, we’ll share five things to look for in a vendor. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to choose a quality firm that’s capable of providing excellent AR services for your medical practice.

Extensive Experience

Experience is integral to the success of any medical AR vendor, making it one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a vendor. In the following sections, we’ll tell you what to look for when it comes to experience. 

More Experience Could Mean More Success

An accounts receivable firm that’s just starting out may not have enough industry knowledge to produce the results you’re looking for. So, if you’re tempted to save money and hire a vendor that’s new to the industry, there’s a risk that you won’t get much value for your money. 

This is not to say that a firm with less experience cannot handle your AR functions, but in general, the more experience an AR vendor has, the better they may perform.

Relevant Experience is Essential

The type of experience an AR vendor possesses is equally as crucial as the industry experience they have. If a vendor started out collecting overdue funds for tech companies and just recently broke into the healthcare space, you may want to go with a different firm. You need one that has several years of relevant experience conducting AR functions for a medical practice. 

Automated Collection Processes

As technology has evolved over the past few decades, so has revenue cycle management automation. Some firms use outdated practices and ignore automation possibilities, leading to higher collection costs and diminished overall value. 

How Medical AR Firms Automate Processes

Innovative AR firms seek out ways to automate and optimize processes. If you’re looking to get the most value for your money, your best bet is to work with an AR vendor that leverages automation to complete routine functions.

Here are some of the functions that progressive accounts receivable vendors automate: 

  • Collections calls – Auto dialers increase the volume of patient outreach calls, enabling vendors to collect more overdue funds than they’d be able to otherwise. 
  • Payments – Payment portals allow patients to make payments quicker and easier. 
  • Billing reminders – Automated billing reminders notify patients of outstanding balances without manual intervention. 

Fair and Transparent Pricing

The cost of medical AR services varies widely depending on location, firm experience, services to be provided, and more. Your budget will dictate which AR firm and services you can afford. When shopping around for AR services, it’s imperative that firms communicate their pricing in a transparent way. 

How Vendor Pricing Works

Medical RCM vendors usually charge customers a percentage of funds recovered. This pricing structure is a percentage of funds recovered through the efforts of the vendor. An upstanding firm will be transparent about the commission percentage that they expect. If commission ranges are given for different collection amounts, all dollar amounts and ranges should be clearly presented. This way, there’ll be no confusion or abrasion down the line. 

If you find yourself having to pull teeth to get transparent rates from a potential vendor, that’s a red flag. 

Fair Pricing is Difficult to Determine

We recommend choosing a firm with fair pricing, though determining whether a price is fair is more complicated than you might think. Those who are new to the idea of outsourcing AR functions may believe that a low commission rate is fair, but this may not necessarily be the case. A fair price will be commensurate with the amount of overdue funds the firm expects to recover. However, being that there’s no way to tell the future, you’ll have to consider the firm’s level of experience, collection automation capabilities, history, and references. 

Positive Track Record

Another thing to look for in a medical AR vendor is a positive track record. A good track record can help you build confidence in the firm’s ability to perform. So, when you’re evaluating vendors, ask them for references so that you can see what their former customers are saying. You can also ask about their previous collection statistics to get an idea of their collection capabilities.

A firm without a positive track record may carry a higher risk for adverse outcomes than a firm with a positive track record. There are stellar AR management firms out there that have excellent track records, and these are the ones you should seek out. 

Accessible Reporting

Outsourcing your medical accounts receivable functions takes a degree of trust. After outsourcing, you won’t be in the trenches making collection calls or logging collected funds. For this reason, you should favor medical AR firms that provide detailed reports to clients regularly. In addition, it should be clear to you at every point where the data from the report comes from. 

Choose the Right Medical AR Firm for You

No AR firm is perfect – you’re likely to come across many firms that have only a portion of the above qualities. But if you find a vendor that has all of these qualities, you’ve found a gem. 

DataSearch, Inc. has nearly five decades of experience providing accounts receivable management and collections services to medical clients. The firm also leverages automation to maximize its collection capabilities, and to date, the firm has collected over a billion dollars in receivables. Not only that, but DataSearch, Inc. is willing and able to customize its services to meet your practice’s unique needs and lower your AR days.

Now that you know several things to look for in a medical AR vendor, you are one step closer to outsourcing your AR functions to a quality vendor. We hope that this article was helpful to you in your search for an outstanding medical AR vendor.