Poor Financial Performance in your Urgent Care? Pt. 4
This is it! We’re going to learn the final piece of the puzzle to fix the poor financial performance of your practice. Last time, we discussed the billing and collections process, but this week we’re going to talk about managing receivables.
The next area for improving the revenue cycle is accounts receivable management. We recommend that an organization segregate its aged trial balance by major third-party payers to determine the number of delinquent accounts over forty-five days old. It is easier to contact one insurer regarding twenty accounts, for example, than it would be to make twenty separate inquiries. Unfortunately, many payors do not have adequate customer service support personnel anymore, and collectors are forced to perform collection activities online. Depending on the payor, this process can be as simple as keying in all of the various accounts that are delinquent and researching the claim status. However, there are some payors that are not as fully automated, and the collector must perform collection activities via a ‘phone-tree’ which can be a very lengthy process, especially if a mistake is made.
Most insurers now require deductibles and copayments at time of service, it is critical that your Urgent Care staff members make every effort to obtain the payment for a patient’s portion prior to the patient being seen. In the average Urgent Care center, twenty- five percent to thirty percent of income comes from such collections and these small balances can be difficult to collect after the patient visit.
For most businesses, the expression, “cash is king,” is common but in the urgent care centers, it is crucial. Once your organization addresses your financial performance you should be able to develop a system of predicting cash flow accurately. Urgent Care centers must remember that cash flow management is extremely important when planning to make large payments during the year, such as those for professional liability insurance, employee bonuses, quarterly taxes, and equipment purchases. Physicians/owners must take the time to review the appropriate management reports daily, weekly, and monthly in order to preempt any errors that have been occurring and to develop corrective action plans as soon as possible. When done properly, Physicians/Owners can move on to the last step: deciding how to spend or invest the extra cash!