Many medical practices fail to effectively manage accounts receivable, leading to long AR days, low cash flow, and financial ruin in the most severe cases. Yet, due to the merits of keeping accounts receivable functions in-house, many practices try to manage accounts receivable themselves, even to their detriment. In some situations, it may be critical to outsource accounts receivable functions to a dedicated medical AR management firm. This article will fill you in on seven signs that you should outsource medical accounts receivable.
Your Current Medical Biller is Leaving
If you’ve had a dedicated medical biller for years and they’ll be leaving the practice, this is the prime time to consider outsourcing medical accounts receivable. In addition, an inexperienced or inefficient medical biller or AR specialist can cost a medical practice a ton of money due to delayed payments and write-offs.
Yet, it can be challenging to find a biller with a practical understanding of the inner workings of the healthcare revenue cycle and how to improve your accounts receivable. So, replacing a medical biller takes considerable time and resources that your staff may not have, especially if you’re a smaller or newer practice.
Outsourcing your accounts receivable functions can relieve the pressure from your biller’s transition by not only taking over your office’s AR load but improving upon existing procedures to maximize recovery.
Bills are Going Out Late
One of the most basic AR functions is promptly sending out bills for unpaid services.
The best time to send out a patient billing statement is immediately after receiving the explanation of benefits from the patient’s insurance company. Delaying patient billing statements often translates to decreased revenue. As time passes, your patient is less likely to pay for the services rendered; they may not remember the services or refuse to pay because the bill was sent to them too long after the date of service.
If your practice struggles to send billing statements out on time, you could be missing out on revenue and may benefit from outsourcing AR.
Your Medical Billing System is Unorganized
Medical accounts receivable recovery should be implemented through specific systematic procedures. Staff should complete each step of the procedure mindfully.
Having predetermined recovery procedures in place has many benefits, but one of the key benefits is organization. For larger medical practices with large numbers of patients, it’s easy to lose track of money owned, account statuses, and other pertinent account details – this makes organization vital.
If your practice has no set procedures for recovering funds, we recommend that you consider outsourcing AR functions to a team that can streamline and facilitate the collections process.
You Don’t Have Time or Resources to Deal with AR
It’s not uncommon for medical offices to neglect medical billing in favor of providing good patient care, especially if there’s no in-house billing department. If your practice doesn’t have enough time to devote to medical billing, there’s no way to maximize your revenue. Overdue bills will remain unpaid, and this has a direct effect on your office’s overall profit. Outsourcing AR to a team that will spend the time necessary to collect funds on your behalf may be precisely what you need. It would free your staff up to focus on other administrative tasks and functions required to keep the business going, reducing strain and increasing revenue.
Insurance Denials are Piling Up
Accounts receivable management concerns more than patient payments – health insurance companies are responsible for a sizable portion of patients’ healthcare expenses. For this reason, medical billing and AR staff must continually manage and resolve insurance denials. When insurance denials pile up, this could indicate ineffective denial resolution practices, substandard medical billing procedures, or both.
The quickest and most painless solution to growing insurance denials is to outsource insurance recovery management to professionals.
Payment Delays are the Norm
When your practice’s AR management processes and procedures are ineffective, payment delays become the norm. Your administrative staff begins to perform mundane duties without any real improvement in your office’s overall financial picture. Unfortunately, payment delays can go on for months until, eventually, you decide to write off the uncollected charges to cut your losses.
If your practice regularly deals with payment delays from patients and their insurance companies, it’d be wise to outsource AR to experts who can drastically reduce payment delays.
AR Issues are Affecting Quality of Care
Many issues can creep up when it comes to healthcare accounts receivable, and if you’ve ever performed accounts receivable management for a medical practice, you are well aware.
Many medical offices may be dealing with AR issues, like mounting insurance denials, consistently late payments, disorganization, and more; each of these issues should be managed for the good of the business. However, when AR issues begin to negatively affect the quality of care your practice provides, this is a strong indication that a change should be made sooner rather than later.
Working with an AR specialist or agency can quickly relieve the AR burden and allow you to spend more time with patients, get caught up on administrative tasks, and take other measures to provide better care.
Find the Right AR Specialist
If, based on the information in this article, you’ve realized that your medical office would benefit from outsourcing AR, the next question you may have is, “Who should I outsource AR to?” We can help to answer this question.
Here are some qualities of a good AR specialist:
- Extensive Experience – Choose an AR specialist or agency with several years of experience working in the healthcare revenue cycle, collecting from both health insurance companies and patients.
- Stellar Track Record – A good AR specialist will have a positive track record and will be willing to share their past recovery stats.
- Collection Automation Capabilities – An AR specialist who employs collection automation programs and procedures to recover overdue balances is often better able to deliver positive results than one who does not.
DataSearch Inc. has nearly 5 decades of experience in medical collections and accounts receivable management and has recovered millions of dollars for their medical clients. With DataSearch’s practical expertise and outstanding track record, your practice could outsource your AR functions and focus instead on providing excellent care to your patients.
Now you know several signs you should outsource your medical accounts receivable. We hope that this article has encouraged you to evaluate your practice’s financial position and billing capabilities and to consider outsourcing as a promising way out of your financial bind.