3 Common Medical Accounts Receivable Problems and How to Fix Them

Has poor medical accounts receivable management resulted in a reduction of cash flow for your medical practice? For hospitals and providers, it is not uncommon for accounts receivables to be put on the back burner. However, getting paid for services rendered is crucial in maintaining a successful practice and fulfilling your mission. Here are some common accounts receivable problems that can decrease your revenue and tips on how to fix them:

1. Denied claims. According to a March 2011 report by the U.S. Government Accountability office (GAO), a lack of denial management processes can cause providers to lose out on about 10 percent of potential profits. However, only 35 percent of providers appeal denied claims. In order to retrieve the highest amount of revenue, your accounts receivable staff should be able to follow up with patients to investigate certain claims that were denied and determine what needs to be submitted in order to appeal the denials.

2. Write-offs. Prior to your billing staff writing off unpaid claims, be sure to review and approve everything before they write it off – even small claims. By doing this, it will ensure that all options are exhausted and that money is not being lost arbitrarily. Most patients, if given the chance, are willing to make payments in installments or will work with you to reduce their medical debt.

3. Unmotivated staff. Whether your employees are providing patient care or managing accounts, it is important for each individual who works in your organization to be passionate about their job and to believe in your practice’s mission statement. Therefore, bringing in qualified billing and administrative staff can be just as important as hiring first-rate nurses. If you are having a hard time motivating your medical accounts receivables staff, you should consider outsourcing this aspect of your company to experienced A/R professionals who will work to get the highest return on filed claims.

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This information is not to be construed as legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Although we attempt to provide up-to-date information, laws and regulations often change. We make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of this document.For legal advice, please consult an attorney.
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