7 Tips for Mastering Accounts Receivable in Medical Billing

In the intricate landscape of healthcare, mastering the art of accounts receivable (A/R) management is paramount if you want your healthcare organization to be successful. Keeping track of outstanding payments in any industry is no small feat, and when you factor in the complexities of healthcare billing cycles, implementing solid A/R processes can feel impossible. We’ll break down common reasons accounts receivable in medical billing departments struggle and provide best practices you can implement to improve your revenue cycle management.


Understanding the Intricacies of Accounts Receivable in Medical Billing

In any industry, monitoring accounts receivable is a critical aspect of financial management, representing the money owed to a company for goods or services provided on credit. In the context of healthcare, accounts receivable refers to the outstanding balances owed to a healthcare provider by patients and insurance companies for services rendered.

Medical A/R is distinct from other industries because collecting payments involves working directly with patients and insurance companies, all while maintaining regulatory compliance. Efficiently managing A/R is essential for maintaining a healthcare practice’s financial health. Timely payment collection ensures steady cash flow, reduces debt, and supports operational sustainability. Plus, when you closely monitor your A/R, you can identify trends, streamline processes, and improve the overall financial health of your practice.

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Best Practices for Effective Accounts Receivable Management

If you’re looking to enhance profitability at your medical practice, a great place to start is fine-tuning your accounts receivable processes.


1. Collect and Submit Correct Patient Information and Claims

Accurately capturing patient data increases the likelihood you’ll file claims correctly the first time. It may even make sense for your practice to collect patient data prior to their first visit. Then, when your patient comes in, verify all the information they provided is correct. Finally, when submitting claims, double and triple-check before you send — it’s far less time-consuming than correcting an error or managing denied claims.


2. Simplify the Patient Payment Process

Providing multiple convenient payment options, like online portals or payment plans, enhances patient satisfaction and facilitates prompt payments. Older generations may prefer receiving and responding to an invoice through physical mail, while younger generations may prefer making payments online. No two patients are alike, and the more options you have, the more likely you are to collect prompt payments. Making this process as easy as possible, without unnecessary hurdles to deal with, goes hand in hand with providing a variety of options for patients. 


3. Have a Plan for How You’ll Collect Overdue Payments

Sometimes, patients don’t pay their bills on time — that’s unavoidable. But if you don’t have a set of processes in place, you may find a handful of unpaid invoices can quickly multiply. Evaluate when and how you’ll send reminders of outstanding bills. Even though involving a debt collector is always the last resort, make sure you consider at what point it’s best to pass a bill along.


4. Adopt the Right Technology

A billing software like Benchmark PM can make all the difference. Within one platform, you should be able to view outstanding claims, pull financial reports, and more. Plus, don’t overlook the importance of integrations — if your EHR can automatically populate the codes you’ll eventually bill for, you can save a lot of time. Though software is an investment, it’s well worth it, so if you find your billing platform is holding you back, it may be time to consider making a switch.


5. Effectively Track A/R Performance

Regularly reviewing A/R aging reports allows for early detection of overdue accounts. Each day, set time aside to review what payments need to be collected. Or, even better, configure a report or dashboard that updates in real-time. Depending on your practice’s specialty and unique processes, you may want to consider customizing reports to your liking.


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6. Prioritize Open Patient Communication

Transparent communication about financial responsibilities before appointments fosters trust and reduces surprises. Most medical practices have policies regarding their expectations for timely payments, but if those policies aren’t thoroughly communicated, patients may not be fully aware of their financial obligations. Consider putting together a handout regarding payment expectations and reviewing it verbally with your patients.


7. Outsource Your RCM

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed looking at this list, you may want to consider outsourcing your RCM. A dedicated team of professionals can help you identify common causes of lost revenue and implement changes to promote healthy cash flow. If you’re struggling with delayed payments, a second set of eyes (and hands!) can have a significant impact.

Improve Accounts Receivable in Medical Billing with Benchmark Solutions

As demand for care increases, providers are experiencing unprecedented burnout — and it’s no wonder more independent practices are choosing to outsource their RCM. At Benchmark Solutions, our team of experts can handle all aspects of your medical billing so you can spend less time on tedious financial tasks and more time with your patients. With Benchmark RCM, you can expect to experience:

More Efficient Processes

Leveraging Benchmark Solutions’ expertise and technology results in smoother workflows, faster claims processing, and reduced administrative burden.

Minimized Common Challenges

With decades of combined experience, our team knows how to address common A/R challenges such as claim denials, late payments, and disorganized processes, leading to improved financial performance.

Payment Management

We know tracking down payments can be time-consuming and frustrating. Benchmark Solutions can help set up payment options and follow up on collecting maximum reimbursement.

Less Time Spent in A/R

Benchmark Solutions’ efficient A/R management results in fewer days spent waiting for payments, allowing healthcare providers to focus on patient care.

Team of Experts for Comprehensive Support

With a dedicated team of RCM professionals, Benchmark Solutions provides reliable support and guidance.

You deserve compensation for the invaluable medical services provided — and we're here to help.

Contact the team at Benchmark Solutions today!
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