It Takes an Office: Keeping A/R Days Down
Account Receivables (A/R) are a critical part of the revenue cycle. How can you keep the denials and your A/R days down? How can you incorporate the other departments in the office to help?
From the time the patient calls your office for an appointment until the time the claim is paid, there are many opportunities to assure accuracy. Getting the right information from the patient is a critical piece. Here are tips to make sure that you are getting the information right. Let’s start with the front office.
1. Frequent Reminders to bring current insurance cards, copayment (if they have one), and payment if they have no insurance:
- When the patient calls to set up the appointment remind them
- If you have an automated phone system, incorporate a message that plays when the patient calls in
- Appointment reminders
2. Update information with the patient at each visit:
- Have the patient show insurance cards each visit
- Front staff needs to double check the information
- Check eligibility
3. Collect copayments and balances
- Collect copayments at check-in and check-out
- Advise the patient of balances
The back staff can also help with the reminders. Sometimes the patients do not give the full story to the front staff when making an appointment or at check in. But when the patient gets back with the clinical staff the story is much clearer.
For example: Mary Smith calls and makes an appointment for a headache. When the patient checks in she gives her health insurance to the front staff. When she gets back with the nurse she states that she has had a headache since yesterday when she was involved in an auto accident.
At this point, because the nurse has had the proper training, she advises the patient that this would need to be billed to her auto insurance and either gets the auto information from the patient, notifies the front staff who gets the auto information from the patient when she checks out, and/or notifies the billing department so that they can make sure that the right insurance is being billed.
Try out these tips and techniques to help cut down on denials and decrease the amount of time it takes to get the claim paid.
By Jacqueline Stack, BSHA, CPC, CPC-I, CEMC, CFP, CIMC, CPEDC, CCP-P
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