What Adds up to Form a Practice’s Accounts Receivable
Accounts receivable is a critical component of a practice’s financials. It represents the money owed to the practice by its patients or clients for services provided. Understanding what adds up to form a practice’s accounts receivable is essential for effective financial management. Let’s take a closer look at the key elements that contribute to this important financial metric.
1. Patient Invoices: The primary source of accounts receivable is patient invoices. When a practice provides services to patients, it generates invoices detailing the services rendered and the amount owed.
2. Insurance Claims: Insurance claims play a significant role in a practice’s accounts receivable. After services are provided, the practice submits claims to insurance companies for reimbursement. Until the insurance company pays the claim, the amount owed is included in accounts receivable.
3. Copayments and Deductibles: Patients are often responsible for copayments and deductibles, which are typically collected at the time of service. However, in some cases, patients may not pay immediately, and these amounts become part of the accounts receivable.
4. Unpaid Balances: Patients who have outstanding balances from previous visits contribute to the practice’s accounts receivable. These unpaid balances can accumulate over time and impact the overall financial health of the practice.
5. Payment Plans: Practices may offer payment plans to patients who are unable to pay their full balance upfront. These arrangements result in a portion of the total owed being included in accounts receivable until the payment plan is completed.
6. Bad Debt: Unfortunately, not all accounts receivable are collected. Some patients may never pay their outstanding balances due to financial hardship or other reasons. These uncollectible amounts are referred to as bad debt.
7. Aging Accounts: Accounts receivable can be further categorized based on their age, with balances falling into different time frames, such as 30, 60, or 90+ days past due. Analyzing the aging of accounts receivable helps identify potential collection issues and allows for targeted follow-up.
1. How can a practice minimize its accounts receivable?
2. What steps can be taken to improve collections from insurance companies?
3. Is it necessary to offer payment plans to patients?
4. How often should accounts receivable be reviewed?
5. What strategies can be implemented to collect outstanding balances effectively?
6. How can a practice determine if an account is uncollectible?
7. What impact does accounts receivable have on a practice’s cash flow?