A debt recovery agency can help healthcare organizations improve their revenue cycle.
One of the biggest concerns of any hospital CFO today is the increasing burden of high-deductible insurance policies, the elimination of the insurance mandate, and the inability of ER or inpatients to pay for care. When coupled with declining Medicare reimbursement, the effect on hospital cash flow is something that could keep any administrator up at night.
This post explores how outsourced collections can help the bottom line of a hospital, large medical practice, or other healthcare agency. In an era of high-deductible insurance, declining reimbursement, and delinquencies on the rise, how can a medical collection agency help healthcare providers improve?
Outsourcing Collections – Benefits for Debt Recovery
Medical facilities are increasingly outsourcing medical bill debt collection to an experienced healthcare collection agency. These third-party firms have helped hospitals and practices improve efficiencies and reduce costs while freeing up billing departments to focus on increasingly complicated reimbursement processes, which could include multiple insurers, workers compensation, Medicaid or Medicare, liability, and more. Each of these payers has differing processes that must be followed for reimbursement to occur. Increasingly medical billing offices are bogged down with rejected claims resulting in the need to pursue additional steps just to be reimbursed. Add to that the slow paying patient, and it becomes the perfect storm for a revenue cycle nightmare. Aetna Medicare Supplement Plans offer coverage along with Original Medicare (Parts A and B).
Intermedix suggests that 80% of community hospitals in the U.S. are bracing for declining profitability via past due A/R. To counteract these effects, hospitals are turning to the medical collection agency to handle past due patient accounts. Some of the benefits of outsourcing collections include:
- Saving money while freeing up staff time. Using technology to streamline processes while adding additional outsourced teams to improve in-house workflows is a huge benefit for hospitals.
- Outsourced agencies can offer patients additional ways to settle past due balances with payment arrangements and flexible bill payment. Phone, web portals and cell phones can all become vehicles for collecting payment while technology can sync directly with hospital records allowing transparency and accuracy for administrators seeking to understand patient payment behaviors.
- Becker’s Hospital Review points out the obvious fact that hospitals have a much lower collection rate from patients than they do insurers. A medical bill debt collection agency can raise the bar on patient payments without being a drain on hospital department resources.
- Becker’s also suggests that hospital collection processes are inefficient and expensive. Many billing departments still use collection processes tied to paper statements which have higher material costs than digital collection processes.
- Finally, medical bill debt collection companies often have state-of-the-art technology that medical providers simply do not have. This speeds up communication and payments while cutting overhead, saving the money with each transaction that occurs.
Outsourcing collections is a necessity for cash-strapped medical facilities.
Improving A/R by outsourcing collections is a necessity for cash-strapped medical practices and hospitals struggling with declining reimbursement. A debt recovery agency can streamline patient collections by providing a dedicated technology infrastructure and improved workflows that will maximize revenue cycle efficiencies, having a positive effect on the bottom line.
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