As healthcare costs continue to rise, it's more important than ever for healthcare providers to ensure they're getting paid for the services they provide.
But with insurance companies and patients alike dragging their feet on payment, improving your accounts receivable can be a significant challenge. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can implement to boost your bottom line and keep your practice financially healthy. From streamlining your billing process to offering payment plans, read on for our top tips on improving paid accounts receivable in healthcare.
Here are our top 5 tips on how to improve your accounts receivable in hospitals and healthcare:
- Automate Accounts Receivable Processes
- Ensure Accurate Patient Information
- Streamline Claims Submissions
- Implement Predictive Analytics and Reporting
- Leverage Technology for Better Communication
Tip 1: Automate the Accounts Receivable Processes
In its most basic form, accounts receivable automation works exactly as it sounds: It's a way of automating repetitive, tedious tasks to help collect money that customers owe to the company. Automating accounts receivable is a game-changer for healthcare providers looking to streamline their billing process and improve their bottom line.
By leveraging technology, you can automate many time-consuming tasks associated with accounts receivable, such as sending invoices and payment reminders, reconciling payments, and tracking outstanding balances. This frees up your staff to focus on other important tasks and helps ensure that nothing falls through the cracks when it comes to billing and collections.
Tip 2: Ensure Accurate Patient Information is Recorded and Updated
Ensuring accurate patient information is critical to automating accounts receivable in healthcare. After all, if your system has incorrect or outdated patient data, it can lead to billing errors, delays in payment, and even legal issues.
Verify patient information at every touchpoint: From the moment a patient schedules an appointment to the time they check out after their visit, make sure that their demographic and insurance information is up-to-date and accurate. Similarly, you’ll want to use electronic health records (EHRs): EHRs allow you to store patient data in a centralized location that can be easily accessed by staff across your organization. This helps ensure that everyone is working with the same, accurate information.
Then, be sure to implement data validation rules. When patients enter their data into online forms or portals, use data validation rules to check for errors or inconsistencies. For example, you might require patients to enter their date of birth in a specific format or validate insurance policy numbers against a database. Finally, regularly update your system. Ensure your practice management system is regularly updated with new patient information as it becomes available. Consider implementing automated processes for updating patient records based on changes from insurance companies or other sources.
Tip 3: Streamline Claims Submission and Denial Management
Streamlining claims submissions and denials is another important aspect of automating accounts receivable in healthcare. The process of submitting claims and managing denials can be time-consuming and complex, but by leveraging technology, you can simplify the process and improve your revenue cycle management.
Electronic claims management is a great place to start. It is faster, more accurate, and less prone to errors than paper-based systems. An electronic system lets you submit claims to payers quickly and easily. Together with automated workflows, claim submissions can help ensure that all required information is included with each claim, reducing the risk of denials or delays in payment.
Then, by leveraging analytics tools, you can identify patterns in denied claims to address issues before they blow up positively. Denial management software can also help manage denials by tracking denied claims, flagging denial trends, and giving guidance on denied claims appeals.
Tip 4: Implement Predictive Analytics and Reporting Tools
Proactive analytics and reporting tools are essential for managing healthcare paid accounts receivable. By leveraging data and analytics, you can gain insights into your revenue cycle management processes and identify opportunities for improvement.
Some examples include:
- Key performance indicators (KPIs): KPIs are metrics that track the performance of your revenue cycle management processes. Common KPIs include days in accounts receivable, denial rate, clean claim rate, and net collection rate.
- Dashboards: Dashboards visually represent your KPIs, allowing you to quickly see how your revenue cycle is performing at a glance.
- Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics uses algorithms to analyze data and predict future outcomes. In the context of healthcare paid accounts receivable, predictive analytics can help identify patients at risk of not paying their bills or predict which claims are likely to be denied.
- Data mining: Data mining involves analyzing large datasets to identify patterns or trends that may not be immediately apparent. For example, you might use data mining to identify common reasons for claim denials or uncover process improvement opportunities.
- Benchmarking: Benchmarking involves comparing your performance against industry standards or best practices. By benchmarking your revenue cycle management processes against other organizations, you can identify areas where you may be falling behind and take steps to improve.
Tip 5: Leverage Technology to Enhance Communication with Patients
Patients appreciate quick and convenient communication regarding their medical bills. Automated messaging systems allow patients to access their account information anytime through online portals or mobile apps. This gives them greater control over their finances while also helping them stay informed about their medical expenses.
Automating accounts receivable can help you save time, reduce errors, and improve cash flow by ensuring that payments are processed quickly and efficiently. If you want to take your healthcare practice to the next level, implementing an automated accounts receivable solution is definitely worth considering.
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