Where’s the Cash? The Top 3 Causes for Aging AR in SNFs
As a team of outsourced AR professionals, we get asked this question constantly here at LTC Collections.
Due to the nature of a healthcare facility, revenue streams mainly from insurance companies and government healthcare systems, like Medicaid and Medicare. That is why your medical billing team’s level of expertise and efficiency will directly correlate with your expected cash flow. Both having a team of professional experts and ensuring they are given the right tools is integral to maintaining the fiscal health of your facility.
Here are the top 3 most common causes we find for why even highly experienced accounts receivables teams are collecting less than they should.
They Don’t have Time
Probably the most common factor we’ve seen is lack of time. Your team needs to handle setting up new admissions, keeping up with current billing needs and addressing coverage issues that arise. At the same time, new claims keep coming in and take priority over old claims. Your staff is overworked, trying to stay afloat, and they don’t have the time to follow up on old, troublesome claims. It is a vicious cycle because the longer claims go uncollected, the harder it gets and more time it will take to recoup payment.
They Don’t Know How
Of course, you’ve made sure to invest in experienced medical billers, but here at LTC Collections we’ve found that a surprising number of receivables specialists may not understand all the codes and languages payers use in reference to a claim. There is a large, constantly growing number of codes to keep track of and the language used by the insurance companies can be hard to understand.
A common example we’ve seen when working on collecting aging AR for a client is a misunderstanding of the term “service not covered”. While this language can indicate a denied claim, it should not be immediately taken at face value. It is imperative to follow-up being that it can sometimes just mean that the claim was billed the wrong way.
They Don’t have the Right Tools
As we mentioned above, the coding and guidelines for medical billing are complex. This is where the right technology can be a tremendous asset. Investing in a robust software can automate the process and allow your team to stay on top of this information more efficiently.
Moreover, most long term care billing software on the market is not created to help employees track aging A/R. This can be problematic, causing uncollected receivables to fall lower and lower under the radar as they age.
Having a dedicated team of quality, efficient professionals can help you collect more, increasing your cash flow and improving your facility’s fiscal health. Here at LTC Consulting’s Collections department, we take on the recoupment of all aging AR and assist your team in solutionizing to get back on track.
The LTC Collections department services Skilled Nursing Facilities nationwide. Operated by a group of dedicated industry experts, we help clients reach new levels of profitability by efficiently collecting high ratios on outstanding AR receivable balances. The Collections department undertakes the recoupment process of outstanding Medicare, Medicaid and HMO/Managed Care receivable accounts for skilled nursing facilities. With unrivaled collection rates, our contingency-based and risk-free model can help your facility dramatically increase cash flow.