December 13, 2012 by Lisa Brammer
Everyone who sends out bills has Accounts Receivable. Keeping current on your A/R can be a daunting task, especially for an independent physician who is trying to keep tabs on all aspects of their practice. You’re busy attending to your first priority, your patients. Even a busy and thriving practice, with the best intentions, can have their A/R inflate into a mess.
Just like your patients, you’re A/R can be young or old, large or small, or healthy or troubled.
When I visit my doctor, the appointment always starts out in the same way. Whether you are a member of the medical community, or simply a patient, I’d imagine everyone is familiar with this ritual:
You jump on the scale; the nurse takes your pulse and blood pressure then follows that up with a thermometer under the tongue—or swiped across the forehead, if they are into new-fangled equipment.
These actions are performed in order to give the healthcare professional a starting point in determining your health. A blood pressure of 140/95 might not seem that high to me, but a doctor may see these numbers as a potential problem that can lead to heart disease or stroke. Let’s say my weight went down twenty pounds. Great, right? Well, maybe not. My doctor, looking at my history, will note that in the past two years my weight has gone up and down like a yo-yo. So, he does a quick blood test to find out that my weight loss strategy certainly worked to lower my weight, but now my bad cholesterol has jumped to a level that now needs to be addressed. Oops.
Okay, now let’s talk A/R health. You look at the A/R and notice that the numbers in your aging accounts at 121-180 days look pretty bad, and 91-120 days are growing too. So, you get your staff to work on getting those numbers down. You check a few months later and great, all those numbers are decreasing. But wait, your practice was focused on improving the health of your aging A/R and now your current billing isn’t so current, and a new red flag has been raised on the overall financial health of your practice.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. As you can tell, I do love a good metaphor, so keeping that in mind, let’s continue.
Back at my doctor’s visit, the examination is complete and my doctor gives me my diagnosis and then a name of a specialist he would like me to see.
Sometimes you see a patient and can diagnose their problem without much difficulty, but your expertise just can’t address the issue as well as you would like, so you refer them to a specialist. A third party A/R firm specializes in A/R solutions. They can help with all aspects of your revenue cycle; from taking a proactive approach with capturing patient data, to ensuring payments are getting made on time and everything in-between.
If you haven’t already, take a long look at your accounts receivable and ask yourself this; does it need a little preventative care and health maintenance?
United Credit Service, Inc. Is a full service accounts receivable and debt collection firm located in Southeast Wisconsin. And like you, we believe in Compassion, Respect, and Understanding. Primum Non Nocere.
Check us out at www.unitedcreditservice.com, or give us a jingle at 262-741-1626.