Healthcare providers need to get paid to survive. This might be the most basic business 101 principle, so why do many companies – particularly health providers – still struggle to reduce outstanding invoices?
“Accounts receivable aging lists unused credit and unpaid invoices by date.”
Unfortunately many patients don’t (or can’t) pay their health bills on time, and this information is reflected in accounts receivable aging – a report that lists every unused credit and unpaid invoice by date as well as customer information.
Beyond just basic accounting services, upper management may also use the accounts receivable aging report to determine the type of impact outstanding balances are having on the company’s bottom line. These numbers can then help higher ups better determine whether their current payment offerings are hurting or helping the entity.
Understanding what the report is and how it plays a role in a provider’s business affairs is the first step to getting it under control.
To control debt and obtain a broad view of their financial situation, providers need to take advantage of advanced credit and collection management systems, which address billing and invoicing, remittance processing, collections management, credit facilitation, dispute resolution and other analytical processes.
To further reduce the aged receivables report providers should:
1. Make payment processes and processing more efficient
The old idiom time is money still stands true today, especially when it comes to recording, analyzing and collecting payments. Employees must quickly and efficiently access internal credit and other financial reports so they can better prioritize activities and reach out to customers who have outstanding balances.
Many patients may not intend to pay late, but confusing web portals, inconsistent bill scheduling and other internal business issues cause patients to either not receive payments on time, miss payments or become involved in lengthy financial disputes.
2. Make a plan
Providers need to establish formalized plans and strategies that regulate their workflow and other financial procedures. People need to clearly understand their roles and how they fit into the department. By organizing, and often simplifying operations, the revenue cycle will become more streamlined and the aged receivables report will become less cluttered with unpaid invoices.
3. Hire a consultant
Many times you can’t reduce outstanding balances on your own, especially if you’ve been dealing with this problem for years. That’s where hiring third-party consultants can help. These professionals have a knack for investigating entire departments as a whole, and examining and fixing billing snags.If you’re struggling to get your aged receivables report under control, think about hiring outside help.
Photo courtesy of: Jim Yasarnsky
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