As a fresh new year looms ahead, medical clinics should be taking the time to audit their billing. The sheer number of patients they see in a year or even a few months can make it difficult to keep up with their claims volume and the many stages they will be at whether it’s paid, outstanding, late, or aging. Failing to properly track the stages for follow-up could result in a large amount of lost revenue for a provider. To help start 2022 out right, clinics should focus on cleaning up their aging accounts receivables before the end of the year.
To begin the aged accounts receivables clean up, the billing team should run a detailed AR aging report. This will show them the amount of insurance claims and patient balances that have been sitting unpaid and how long they have been in that stage. Even if the practice strives to get their billing streamlined, it can be easier than expected for claims to fall into that aging category when dealing with all of the issues that can arise with medical billing. This is why it’s so important to spend some time cleaning up those older accounts while there still may be some revenue to be salvaged.
Once the report shows the aging accounts that need attention, the billing team should analyze their results and prioritize. How many of them are insurance claims and what follow-up actions have been taken to date? When was the last follow-up and is the claim now ready to submit for timely filing? For patient balances, how many statement have been sent, phone calls made, and collections letters issues. Before settling those claims, asking these important questions will help focus in on any outstanding issues with the internal AR process. Has the team been struggling with coding denials? Were they filed incorrectly due to a change in regulation? Did the front staff not gather and fill in information correctly? Was the patient never contacted again for their unpaid bill?
Once the issues have been recorded, the billers should begin the review process and contacting the payer. Unfortunately, accounts over 90 or 120 days old are often uncollectable, so they may need to be adjusted. Once the aging list has been gone through completely, the team can then feel accomplished with that clean-up process and focus on new claims and ones that are nearing that aging stage of 90+ days.
If your current billing team does not have the experience or bandwidth to complete this task, then it may be time for outsourcing. Overall, this process benefits your clinic so you can focus instead on accounts that have not reached aging yet. Outsource Receivables Inc. offers a free medical billing assessment to see how much you could be saving overall. For additional questions or to start discussing next steps, give us a call.