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9 things for ASCs to know about measuring accounts receivable

Measuring accounts receivable can help ASCs collect money more efficiently, according to Serbin Medical Billing.

Here are nine things for ASCs to know:

1. Understand how computer-generated A/R reports pull information and whether A/R is stated as gross or net charges. The most common A/R reports are by payer, financial class, patient, date or procedure. The "aging of A/R by payer" report is usually the most helpful because it lists accounts due from each payer, shows how long they have been owed and helps evaluate payer mix.

2. Factors influencing the size and accuracy of A/R include:

  • Accuracy and timeliness in posting charges and payment
  • Contractual adjustments
  • Correct timing of switching guarantor responsibility
  • Pursuing non-payments or incorrect payments from payers
  • Collecting upfront co-pays and deductibles
  • Collection timeliness
  • Policy concerning write-off of non-collectible accounts

3. Payers will direct patients to ASCs in exchange for the ability to pay at a discounted rate. It's most common to contract for rates based on a percentage of Medicare rates and rates based on a percentage discount off billed charges.

4. Select one of two methods for adjusting contractual allowances. You can either make adjustments when payment is received or when charges are posted. The latter reduces the risk of error and facilitates cross-checking for payment accuracy.

5. Benchmark against similar ASCs to measure progress. If you benchmark using working days, progress cannot be compared to calendar days.

6. When measuring ASC A/R, pinpoint how long it takes third-party payers to reimburse the center to help collectors identify non-payment trends and determine which payers don't follow prompt payment regulations.

7. Non-commercial third-party payers may inflate A/R over time. This category includes out-of-network and workers' compensation claims. If an ASC has a large number of those types of cases, the A/R may be much higher than national benchmarks because it takes longer to collect those types of accounts.

8. Reimbursement may be slower in a new ASC because more out-of-network patients as contracts have not been completed. Signed contracts may not show up right away in payer software and financial policies may not be fully implemented.

9. Serbin Medical recommends measuring A/R through a method that uses a rolling three-month period. The measurement tool enables ASCs to compare their quarter-to-quarter progress in collecting outstanding A/R.

More articles on coding, billing and collections:
5 common patient collections mistakes
Maximize your 2018 reimbursements: Know your health plans, know your market, and stay on top of trends
How executives think value-based contracts will impact finances — 5 statistics

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