Efficiencies to look for in your billing department

August 18, 2021
Categories: Home health, Hospice, Palliative care
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Here’s how hospice and/or home health billing solutions can help drive efficiency and operational improvements for your organization.

3 ways hospice and home health billing solutions can drive efficiency

Driving efficiency in the billing department of your home health organization, hospice or similar care-related business is an essential goal—especially if you’re seeing revenue dip while the number of billed visits is rising. When it comes to driving efficiency with hospice and home health billing solutions, there are three major components to consider:

  1.  Understanding what’s currently unbilled, and why not.
  2. Assessing what has been billed, but hasn’t been paid.
  3. Identifying bad debts and receipts that fall short of the billed amount.

Here’s a quick guide on how to put all these elements together.

3 steps to implementing an effective hospice or home health billing solution

1. Identify unpaid AR.

If your organization is lucky enough to have an analytics solution or regular reports to help identify unbilled AR, this could be a straightforward task. If not, it’s time to start keeping track of every aspect of your billing—what and when, how much, payer sources, even breaking it down by clinician if need be.

Once you’ve identified unbilled AR, the next step is understanding why it’s unbilled. Are you waiting on physician’s orders? Are you lacking documentation? Do the visits not have payers assigned to them? Identifying and resolving these roadblocks doesn’t just improve your cash flow today, but also helps you improve your process in the future.

There are nuances to consider here, too. Some payers are slow—but it’s important to understand who that is, and why they’re slow, so you can plan accordingly. Others may have shorter filing constraints, say a 90- to 120-day mark. It’s important to move faster on those claims to ensure you capture that revenue.

2. Assess billed but unpaid revenue.

Next, it’s time to assess and prioritize what has been billed, but not yet paid. Start by categorizing your outstanding unpaid revenue in aging buckets—zero to 30, 31 to 60, 61 to 90, et cetera, through your 120-day plus. As the AR moves into the latter buckets, the chances of collecting that revenue from those payers starts decreasing.

Understanding your most at-risk revenue helps you prioritize your activities to make sure you minimize losses. This system will also take you into the months and years to come to help you collect on billings in a timelier way, with more visibility, going forward. You’ll know which payers need reminding, and what’s likely to come in when, and can strategize accordingly.

Further efficiencies can be gained from understanding why some payers are slower than others, and how to correct for that in in your operating strategy. Is a payer slow because they’re new? Is your billing team failing to follow up as necessary? Making sure you’re not relying on outdated info or off-base assumptions can be the key to bringing your accounts up to date.

3. Investigate bad debt.

Now that you understand what’s unbilled and unpaid, you’ll be in a good spot to identify bad debts and receipts that fall short of the billed amount. It’s important to not just find, but also to understand this uncollected revenue, and that begins with identifying the accounts that you did collect on, but which fell short of what you were expecting.

The real goal here is to achieve complete oversight. Do you have bad contracts on your hands? And how many bad contracts can you really afford? If they represent a significant part of your payer base, you could be looking at a serious threat to your ongoing revenue—especially if these bad debtors are a significant part of your payer mix.

There could be a number of reasons for bad debt. Understanding those reasons puts you in the position to adjust contractual obligations as needed to weed out bad contracts and strengthen your payer mix. Be warned that this could mean making some hard decisions about your contracts going forward, and the types of patients you’re accepting.

Find a hospice or home health billing solution that works for you

If you’re interested in getting help making those decisions—or help with the work of compiling all this info in an effective and timely way—partnering with a reliable home health or hospice billing solution provider may be the smartest way forward. At MatrixCare, we offer solutions to help organizations like yours weed out and correct bad debt, before it’s too late.

Request a demo today to learn how MatrixCare can provide a hospice or home health billing solution to meet your specific needs.

Amy Anderson
Amy Anderson

Amy is a Senior Product Manager at MatrixCare and has over 20 years of experience in home-based care technology. With a laser focus on data and analytics, Amy helps providers optimize their clinical operations.

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