Analyzing & monitoring physician practice collection performance

Failure to analyze collection performance can be a major headache. Too often the staff is focused on getting the billing off their desk and the claims submitted, but have little time to follow up on receivables, analyze the practice's financial performance, and improve collections.

Monitoring overall performance requires consistently reviewing month-end reports and analyzing collection performance. There are reports that will reveal trends and help you identify where there are problems on the horizon:

• Unpaid claims
• Aging reports
• Aging by payer class
• Patient balance reports
• Payer performance reports

After analyzing collection performance ask yourself some key questions:

• Should we change what we are currently doing?
• Can we increase automation?
• Should we use a collection agency?
• Does outsourcing make sense, and if so, to what degree?
• Should we cancel "bottom feeder plans"?

Finally, develop written financial policies. These policies should represent your philosophy and collection goals. The goals should be specific and identify employee responsibility. By including the entire staff in development and implementation of the policies, you get their buy-in, which is essential to achieving the desired results.


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