Receivables management: Stop the slow pay

Q. How can I get paid faster by commercial payers?
Thursday, October 22, 2015

A. Slow payments by third-party payers can pose a serious threat to your cash flow and require intensive and costly staff resources for follow up. In light of all the recent changes to the stability of the healthcare industry, ensuring these claims are paid in a timely manner will improve cash flow, reduce staff follow-up and secure the financial success of your business.  

Consider thinking outside the box on your follow up. One easy method is to consider modifying your approach to include collection notices that throw a specialized focus on third-party receivables and cost just a few pennies per account. This is typically used on claims that were filed between 60 and 90 days. Timely written reminders that payment is due can appear like a re-filed claim, and with professionally drafted communications they can convey the right message tailored to specific payers. 

Third-party payers will always respond to a filed claim in one of four ways regardless of how you communicate with them. They will either pay it (Great!); deny it (Change status to patient responsibility); give you the reason for the delay (9 of 10 times they don’t have it so you must re-file with a collection disclaimer); or ignore it (continue collection efforts).

If you keep getting the same response from the insurance company, then consider modifying your approach to include simple, low-cost written correspondence. If it works, you significantly improved your cash flow; and probably heightened the awareness of your claims over the next guy’s in the eyes of the insurance company because collection notices get put in the hands of the supervisors.

Keith Lilek is CEO of A/R Allegiance Group. Reach him at