Many practices find problems with their accounts receivable (AR) at one time or another. The key to optimizing this part of your revenue cycle is to keep a pulse on the health of your AR through consistent monitoring. Days in AR by payer as well as the age of a clinic’s AR will tell much about the health of a clinic’s revenue cycle. Administrators and managers must work closely with their billing team to know the daily, weekly, and monthly status of the clinic’s AR and what is being done to manage it.
While many will benchmark their Days in AR, it does not often reflect an accurate picture of the clinic’s AR health. For example, Medicare should pay in 15 days, but if the state’s Medicaid system or a certain insurance payer is having problems processing claims and has outstanding claims over 90 days, the average Days in AR may still reflect 45. Thus, the practice looks as if it might be slightly high in this measure, but only by looking at the individual payer Days in AR does the true story emerge. Administrators and managers should be wary of this statistical problem and ask to know what the average Days in AR is by payer from their billing system and team. This will show far better the true status of the processing of claims and payment by the clinic’s billing team.