How to Prevent Loss of Cash Flow in Your Practice - Part I

What Does Your Office Look Like?

You can’t understand how or why your revenues stream is not as robust as you would like without asking yourself the following questions:

1) Overall, how many accounts do you have outstanding?

2) How are you managing the patient’s payment responsibilities?

3 ) When were the last of your receivables reviewed? In other words, how long is it taking you to get your money? CMS sends out money every day, meaning you should be sending out claims every day. If you only send out claims once per week, you’re delaying the rate at which you get paid.

4) Who evaluates and analyzes billing data?

5) Are you paying your staff overtime? If so, how much?

6) What is your paper usage like? Automate anything a computer can do so that you can use the expertise in the billing department to do things a computer can’t.

7) Are you dedicating enough time for staff training? Accordingly, do you have an in-house expert in collections? Invest in training. Send your staff out into the field. They may or may not get great benefit from an educational session, but networking there will pay dividends. If you don’t want to send them out of the office, you could recommend something as simple as having them listen to a webcast while they’re on the phone.

How Do you Know what to Compare Against?

ABB: Always be benchmarking

Benchmark internally against previous results, both year over year and month over month. This will allow you to parse and identify the aspects of your A/R strategy/program that are positively and negatively affecting your revenue stream.

Use a dashboard for detection. Don’t get knee deep in the details so that you lose the forest for the trees. Focus on details, but always keep an eye on the big picture. Make sure you are empowering your staff to take care of details on their own rather.

Better performers focus on registration

In total, your accounts over 4 months old should total less than 10%. If that percentage is higher than 20%, you don’t have enough discipline as owners to:

  1. say you’re going to write those bills off, or
  2. your staff doesn’t have enough discipline to pursue these non payers.

You must ask yourself whether you’re being diligent and thoroughly examining these reports. If you're not, institute a hard and fast collections policy, though you should be able to flag accounts of family members, friends, colleagues, etc. whom you would never turn over to collections.

Collections agencies cannot work efficiently for you if they’re not being notified.

Click here for Part II