Collections: Use available resources to get paid
A. Ah yes, the dreaded DSO (days sales outstanding). Let us start by stating this: You are not alone. Providers constantly struggle to keep their DSO low. It's important to first evaluate how individual providers are computing DSO. Do you figure it from date of insurance billing or from the date the balance drops to patient responsibility? Keep this in mind as you are comparing your DSO to published industry figures. Listed below are a few suggestions to keep your DSO in check.
By replacing the standard monthly statements with an invoicing process, you will get bills in front of the patient sooner and see patients responding more quickly--with cash. Statements typically confuse patients with multiple dates of service, credit columns and generally too much information. Invoices are easier to understand, generate fewer incoming phone calls, and typically include a due date, all resulting in a faster payment.
If you aren't staying on top of your current billing process by following up with your patients, you are truly losing out on thousands of dollars. If your patient didn't pay off that initial invoice, don't wait another month to get in front of them. Tools are currently available to generate automatic follow up via late letters. Stop wasting your valuable time going through aging reports trying to pick and choose who gets a past due notice. Use technology to do that heavy lifting.
The industry has changed and you don't have time to sit around and wait for your patients to pay. Providers have to take charge of their AR; if that means being a bit more aggressive then so be it.
Your DSO is dependent on the effort put forth by your billing department, the timeliness of that effort, and the utilization of the right resources. HME
Kevin Winkley is president of Strategic AR. Reach him at email@example.com or 913-744-3360.