Monday, February 28, 2005

Collect more cash
with Esther Apter
E. Apter

Q. What’s the best way to improve collections – technology, more employees or outsource?

A. Billing and collections is the heart and soul of DME operations. Profitability depends on collecting the revenue generated by sales. One of the most difficult aspects of managing A/R is hiring and training new employees, while staying on top of reimbursement changes. Invest in technology that will contribute to controlling the process and ease the training, work and paper flow. You will experience a return on your investment in a very short time. To determine if outsourcing is a viable alternative, analyze the cost of your billing department vs. actual cash collected. Include all payroll and incidental costs. If you are spending in excess of 10-12%, explore outsourcing as an alternative to hiring more people. Outsourcing is an alternative for people experiencing high turn-over. Outsourcing allows you to focus on growing your business rather than managing the business you already have. Many people fear outsourcing will contribute to a loss of control over reimbursement knowledge. This is not the case. To retain the core competency of reimbursement, you need superior reporting tools as well as updated training tools. To retain an effective ratio of billing vs. dollars collected, you need to spend a lot of time managing details. Outsourcing allows you to “see the forest for the trees”.

Esther Apter is the CEO of MedFORCE Technologies. She can be reached at 1-866-237-1190 or at