If your physician’s office is plagued with a large number of accounts that have an outstanding patient responsibility, then you likely know the negative impact late payments can have on your cash flow. Managing your revenue cycle efficiently and reducing your days in accounts receivable (DAR) is essential to having the funds you need for office improvement, employee training, and other expenses that ultimately contribute to patient satisfaction. Requiring payment at the time of service is a sure way to lower your DAR, however, this is not a feasible option for many providers and patients.
At Epic River, we understand that the task of lowering your DAR is often much easier said than done. We also believe that a physician’s office must have a bigger purpose than just profitability. In an effort to streamline payment processes in a way that benefits provider and patient alike, we are proud to offer our innovative Patient Lending™ program. Request your free demo of this medical billing solution today, and check out a few revenue cycle management tips that can help you lower your practice’s DAR once and for all.
Four Revenue Cycle Management Tips to Lower DAR
Clearly Communicate Patient Responsibility
In a previous post, we explored why patients accrue medical debt. One of the key reasons patients don’t pay their medical bills is that they may feel confused or overwhelmed by the billing process. If your practice takes steps to clearly communicate the patient’s responsibility up front, or even better, provides an estimate of their out-of-pocket portion before services are rendered, you’ll likely see an increase in patient buy-in and understanding, not to mention improved collection rates and lowered DAR. In fact, after the team at NYU Langone Medical Center began communicating the patient’s out-of-pocket responsibility up front, approximately 30 percent of self-pay collections were completed at the time of service.
Identify Medical Billing Inefficiencies
Your DAR rate is only as efficient as the medical billing processes behind them. That being said, if you want to achieve lower DAR, then it is essential to examine your billing practices to identify potential inefficiencies. For example, if your employees have not received adequate training on coding and bundling of services, your practice might suffer from billing errors that prolong collection of payment. Or, if there is a breakdown in communication between backend and frontend personnel, your practice might suffer from delayed bill processing and claim filing. Once you identify the inefficiencies in your processes, you can begin to take steps to correct them.
Outsource Your Collection Efforts
Identifying inefficient procedures and setting proper expectations with regard to patient responsibility can be effective revenue cycle management techniques, but what can be done about the past due accounts that you just can’t seem to eliminate? Of course, you can always implement your own collection procedures or audit existing ones for possible areas of improvement. These tasks can take time, and the improvements you see from these actions may not be equivalent to the effort your team puts into them. Outsourcing your collection efforts to a third-party company (especially one with a turn-key solution) is a viable option that can free up your internal resources and lower DAR.
Offer Low-Interest Loans to Patients
It is no secret that many consumers carry significant amounts of debt. In fact, recent statistics released by the Fed indicate that household debt in the United States has reached $13.3 trillion. Some patients simply are unable to afford the care that they need, which can and does lead to delinquency. If you recognize that you have patients who struggle to pay their bills because they don’t have the money to do so, offering low-interest medical loans could help them afford services they might otherwise have to go without.
Searching for Revenue Cycle Management Solutions?
If your practice is ready to take a proactive approach to revenue cycle management and lowering DAR, then Epic River is here to help. Our Patient Lending program enables you to collect payment for your services in full by offering low-interest loans to your patients, extending “do no harm” to your patient’s financial well-being. This can allow you to lower your DAR by as much as 8 to 10 days! Even better, our program removes you from the collection process entirely, offloading the payment process to a financial institution that has experience collecting unpaid debts.