Cash flow can make or break a business. That’s why it’s crucial to do what you can to reconcile money earned with money received. Even practices that are billing a healthy amount each month are at risk of poor cash flow because it’s often the rate at which money comes in that can put a practice under unnecessary financial pressure.
So, what can you do to ensure a steady cash flow? In this article, we give you the top 5 tips to reduce the turnaround time to getting paid the money you are owed.
1. Submit claims as soon as possible
It’s a well-known fact that the sooner you invoice a patient the more likely they are to settle.
Submitting claims in real-time to medical aids is a crucial component to the strategy to bill as soon as possible. Not only will the claim be received promptly by the medical aid, but you can then also invoice the patient while they are still at your practice. This seemingly simple process often results in the patient settling any outstanding amounts on their invoice before leaving the practice, thereby reducing the risk of late or no payment.
2. Pre-empt claim rejections
Rejected claims are costly, both in time & money. Not only does it increase the risk of non-payment from the medical aid & patient, but it increases the admin burden on your staff substantially.
It’s a good idea to invest in technology that helps you & your staff reduce mistakes in claims & therefore, prevent rejections. As a standard feature, your medical billing software should enable you to:
For more about how to actively reduce claims rejections & improve your revenue, click here.
3. Resubmit rejected claims as soon as possible
Rejected claims can easily become bad debt – especially when the patient doesn’t understand why their claim was rejected. But according to Healthbridge, some of the top reasons why claims were rejected in 2019 are largely due to data errors. Nevertheless, it makes sense that rejected claims need to be corrected & re-submitted as soon as possible to reduce the risk of late collections & non-payment/stale claims.
4. Check your age analysis
It stands to reason that with all the other responsibilities of patient care & running a business, you don’t always have a clear picture of how your practice is doing in this critical area, & the effect it has on your cashflow & profitability. But all is not lost. Medical billing software usually comes standard with an age analysis report that offers you a useful snapshot into how old your patient accounts are – also known as Accounts Receivable (AR) or money owing to you.
Age Analysis groups accounts into 30-day increments (30, 60, 90, & 120 days). Invoices aged over 120 days fall into an AR >120-day category. So, within a few minutes you can generate a report that will clearly spell out how much is owing to you, & for how long.
The Age Analysis report is an important tool to measure the efficiency of your revenue cycle management (RCM). It is highly recommended to check your AR once a month & stick to the benchmark that AR don’t exceed 45 days.
5. Track your claims rejection & overall AR
Following on from the tip to review your age analysis, it’s also important to track your claims rejections & overall AR data, ideally every six months. Reviewing this kind of information will give you valuable insights into the efficiency of your practice systems & processes. For example, you might see that your claims rejection rate is too high (>15%) & that can be the catalyst for improving your process for claims submission. Your billing system should include a product report to help you identify patterns & weak spots in your processes. Addressing these data-backed problems can make a huge difference to your AR & cash flow.
If your practice is grappling with AR & cash flow, get in touch with Healthbridge by clicking here, to find out how you can improve your practice profitability in the short & long term.