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10 Tips to Improve Your Average Days in AR

June 21, 2016 | 11:16 am
Published by | Krunal Popat

Basically, the less time it takes to collect payments, the faster your practice is making money. This means that you will need to find the average number of days collecting payments takes in account receivable follow up so that you can have a baseline for improvement. You will want to lower the AR as much as possible with a good starting point being 40 days to ensure proper cash flow.

Here are ten tips to help improve that number even if you are already at 40 days for your average.

Verify Insurance & Contact Info First: Before you see the patient, be sure that all contact information is correct which includes phone number, address, and email. In addition;

  • Is the insurance still active?
  • Is a copayment or deductable due?

Collect All Copayments: When the patient checks in, be sure to collect all copayments upfront.

Try Batch Eligibility System: This shows the patient’s eligibility and coverage that should be checked a couple of days before they arrive. By doing this well before they arrive, you can catch any potential issues in this area.

Review Billing Statements: Be sure that account receivable follow up on dates and breakdown of the services delivered, fees, insurance payments, and the amount due.

Send Out Bills ASAP: The faster the bill goes out, the sooner you will get paid. Statistics show that patients are more likely to pay when the bill arrives sooner rather than later.

Send Out Two Statements: Before following up with a phone call, be sure to send out two patient statements. If you do not receive a reply, follow up with a phone call in 90 days time from their visit.

Accept Credit Cards: Many people today carry very little cash on them thanks to their credit or debit cards. So, have that service available so they can cover their bills right on the spot.

Use a Certified Coder: This is a person who can do the following;

  • Accurately assigns DPT procedure codes and ICD-10-CM diagnosis
  • Improves documentation to requirements of payer and accurately describes care and patient treatment
  • Keeps up with industry trends
  • Answers questions about deductibles and co-pays

Understand your Data: You’ll need to calculate your account receivable follow up days every month or so to see if there are any issues that need to be addressed. This is particularly true if you have one payer causing issues. Plus, you’ll better understand your overall performance and keep track of any long overdue bills.

Look for Better Solutions: There really is no end goal when it comes to improving the AR in terms of reducing the number of days. This means that you should never become complacent and always address the balances for every month to see if you can find further ways to improve the process. There will be times when your AR time will bounce back and forth, but you should be avoiding trends where the number of days increases over several months.

The better you can improve this aspect of your practice, the faster you can collect the money that is owed to you.