Knowing and understanding your receivables is a key factor that helps in the growth and development of your dental practice. Managing AR days in a practice is never easy, but is one of the crucial aspects to maintaining a healthy revenue cycle. To start with, Accounts receivable is the amount that the patients or the insurance providers owe to the practice, while AR days is the amount of time it takes for the practice to collect all these payments. The higher the number of AR days, the higher the risk of unpaid claims, which can ultimately lead to a huge loss in revenue for the practice.
Proper management of AR days can indeed be a demanding task, and many practices often struggle with it, which adds to the pressure of managing an already complex revenue cycle process. Any negligence in tracking the AR days can have a negative impact on the AR collections in your practice. Make sure that you keep your AR days to a minimum so as to ensure that your practice doesn’t suffer from revenue loss because any loss in revenue can impact the quality of treatment and patient care in a practice. Imagine losing your patient because of low-quality treatment and patient care. That can be terrifying. Therefore, it becomes highly important that you maintain reduced AR days.
So, here are some tips to improve your days in accounts receivable:
Accuracy is the key to effective revenue cycle management process, especially in minimizing AR days. It is important for practices to make sure that the information collected and recorded is accurate before submitting the claims because any mistake or inaccuracy in it may lead to claim denials, thus increasing the AR days. Remember that rework and resubmission of denied claims can be a hectic task, which can delay the whole payment collection process and can even lead to claims being unpaid. Accuracy should be the top priority while collecting information from patients or insurance providers.
Setting goals for increasing both the number of clean claims as well as reducing AR days is one of the best and most effective ways of improving your AR days. Setting a goal makes you want to work harder towards achieving those goals, which ultimately improves your AR days. So, try to set a proper goal before claims submissions and then start working towards achieving those.
Timely submission of claims
Make sure that you submit your claims without any delay, as delays in claim submission can disrupt the entire revenue cycle, making the process even more complex. It can even lead to accounts payments going unpaid and can lengthen the AR days. Delays in claim submission can even have a negative impact on patient experience, making them lose their trust in your practice. On-time claim submission should always be one of the top priorities of your practice.
Form a proper payment policy
Another important way to manage and improve AR days is to implement a payment policy that highlights payment expectations, fee implications, refunds for overpayments, service charges, discounts, old balance collection and collection fees. It helps in establishing clear payment guidelines at the beginning of the process itself so that the patients do not receive any sudden surprises in between and can plan accordingly. This increases the chances of your practice getting paid without any delay, as the patients are aware of payment policies from the beginning itself. This reduces the AR days of your practice and increases its revenue.
Staying up to date with the various insurance payment regulations and patient data
Make sure that you stay up to date with the insurance regulations and patient data so that your claim submissions do not get denied. A lot of claim denials happen because of the practice not staying up-to-date with the frequently changing insurance rules and regulations as well as changes in patient information. Therefore staying up-to-date is very important for the easy and fast acceptance of claims. Do not shy away from contacting the patients or the insurance providers if any additional information is needed or if any doubts need to be cleared. Keep in mind that staying up-to-date with the various insurance rules saves up a lot of time that is spent in AR, thus effectively reducing the AR days.
Expert AR follow up
A proper AR follow-up is critical in identifying and reopening denied claims so that the maximum reimbursement can be obtained as soon as possible. The AR management team has to do proper follow-up on the claims even after the submission to make sure that the claims do not get denied. Even if there is a denial, proper follow-up should be conducted to identify the reasons and to resubmit the claim. Thus, expert AR follow-up can greatly reduce the time spent on denied claims and reduce the AR days.
Effective eligibility and benefits verification
Effective eligibility and benefits verification reduces the number of denied claims, thereby reducing the AR days. There are various steps involved in the process of eligibility verification, which should be followed through without any mistakes for the timely reception of payments. The verification should be completed before providing the service so as to make the payment process faster and easier.
Timely denial management
One of the main aspects that a practice needs to follow to reduce its AR days is reducing the number of claims denials. It is no secret that claim denials can disrupt the revenue cycle and can even lead to revenue leakage. Hence identifying and resubmitting denied claims without any delay should be of top priority in a practice. The AR days in a practice can be significantly reduced if the denied claims are tracked and submitted on time.
Opting an RCM service provider
The tracking and management of AR days can be a laborious task for the practice. It can be really difficult for the practice to provide equal attention to all the aspects of the working of a practice, especially with limited tasks. An RCM service provider could be a perfect solution for this. With a dental RCM service provider by your side, you can deliver round-the-clock attention to the other important needs of the practice, like efficient patient care. This relieves the practice from unnecessary burden of managing the complex process of the revenue cycle. They help you collect the payments as fast as possible, thereby reducing the AR days.
Days in accounts receivable is a key performance indicator, so it should never be overlooked and should always be prioritized. Remember, keeping your AR days between 30 and 40 days is important for maintaining a healthy revenue cycle. No matter what, never let your pending receivables go beyond 90 or 120 days because claims with such lengthy accounts receivable days are at high risk of converting into unpaid claims. Maintaining low AR days should be one of the top goals of your practice for better and quality performance.