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Dan Murdoch

July 25, 2023
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How To Improve Your Accounts Receivable (AR) In Healthcare?

How To Improve Your Accounts Receivable (AR) In Healthcare?

In the intricate landscape of healthcare, managing finances efficiently stands paramount. At the heart of this financial management is the concept of Accounts Receivable (AR), an integral component that represents the amount owed to a healthcare facility for rendered services.

However, effectively handling AR can be daunting for many healthcare organizations, especially with the challenges of denied claims, discrepancies in patient billing, and complex insurance protocols. But fret not, for there are proven strategies to optimize AR and ensure a healthy cash flow. With the aid of tools like Adonis RCM, healthcare providers can navigate the intricacies of accounts receivable, enhancing their financial outcomes. Let's dive into understanding the significance of AR and the steps to manage it proficiently.

Understanding AR in Healthcare: Why It's Essential

Accounts Receivable, often abbreviated as AR, signifies the balance of money owed to a healthcare facility by patients and insurance companies for delivered medical services. In layman terms, it's the invoice for which payment hasn't been received yet. For healthcare providers, AR is more than just an entry on the balance sheet—it's an indicator of the organization's financial health. A high AR can suggest inefficiencies in billing processes, while a continually increasing AR could hint at potential cash flow issues. Understanding the nuances of AR, from its components to its life cycle, is the first step towards improving financial outcomes. The significance of AR in the medical realm extends to areas such as cash flow predictability, patient satisfaction, and the seamless operation of healthcare facilities.

Challenges in Managing Healthcare AR

In the realm of healthcare, Accounts Receivable isn't merely about tracking unpaid bills. Its management is riddled with unique challenges that can have a profound impact on the financial wellbeing of healthcare organizations.

  1. Denied Claims: One of the most common hurdles in healthcare AR is claims denied by insurance companies. This could be due to various reasons, from simple clerical errors and omitted information to discrepancies in codes and services not covered by the patient's plan.
  2. Complex Billing Protocols: Each insurance provider has its own set of billing guidelines and protocols. Ensuring adherence to each provider's specifications can be cumbersome, increasing the chances of errors.
  3. Patient Financial Responsibility: With the rise of high deductible health plans, patients now shoulder a more significant portion of their medical bills. This shift has made it crucial for healthcare providers to have a clear communication system to apprise patients of their financial obligations promptly.
  4. Aging AR: Over time, unpaid bills can accumulate, leading to what is referred to as 'aging AR'. Bills that remain unpaid for over 90 days are harder to collect, impacting the overall cash flow.

Key Metrics and Benchmarks in Healthcare AR Management

Understanding the numbers is fundamental to optimizing any process, especially something as critical as AR in healthcare. Establishing key metrics and benchmarks helps healthcare organizations gauge their performance, identify areas of improvement, and strategically position themselves for success.

  1. Days in AR (DAR): This metric represents the average number of days it takes for an organization to collect payments. A higher number could indicate inefficiencies in the billing or collections process, whereas a lower number suggests a streamlined AR process.
  2. AR Over 90 Days: This segment of AR indicates the proportion of total AR that has been outstanding for over 90 days. It's a critical indicator of potential collection issues. A rising percentage might necessitate a review of the collections process.
  3. Denial Rate: Measuring the proportion of claims denied by payers can provide insights into the quality and accuracy of billing procedures. A higher denial rate can be a red flag, suggesting potential issues with coding or claim submission.
  4. Collection Effectiveness Index (CEI): This metric evaluates the ability of the organization to collect on the services it provides. A higher CEI indicates better effectiveness in collecting revenues.
  5. Write-off Percentage: It's crucial to know how much potential revenue is being written off due to non-collection. Monitoring this metric can give insights into both billing accuracy and the effectiveness of the collection efforts.

Adonis RCM to the Rescue: Optimizing Your AR Management

Harnessing the power of modern tools and systems can be a game-changer in AR management. Enter Adonis RCM—a state-of-the-art solution designed to address the very challenges mentioned above. Here's how Adonis can make a difference:

  1. Tracking Denials Efficiently: With its unique feature track denials by payer, Adonis allows providers to pinpoint where the issues are arising, offering insights into patterns and helping avoid similar denials in the future.
  2. Accurate AR Reporting: Adonis RCM's Alerts feature ensures that your AR is tracked meticulously. It flags potential problems, helping providers take preemptive measures before they escalate.
  3. Streamlined Communication: Simplify the patient financial communication process. Adonis ensures clarity in billing, minimizing confusions and potential disputes with patients regarding their financial responsibilities.
  4. In-depth Analysis: Leveraging Adonis, healthcare providers can delve deep into their AR data, discerning patterns, identifying bottlenecks, and setting benchmarks for optimal financial performance.

With the right systems in place, coupled with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of AR, healthcare organizations can position themselves for financial success, ensuring that they remain focused on what truly matters: delivering outstanding patient care.

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