The ACA outlines a three-part goal of achieving better health care for patients, improving community health outcomes and lowering health care costs, and HME services will play an expanded role in achieving this goal. However, equally important to ensuring the outcome of lower health care costs is making sure providers, and HME businesses in particular, are able to recoup payment for services as quickly as possible. By increasing the speed at which co-pay collections are made and patient billing is processed, health care providers are able to increase efficiency, increase their bottom lines and pass on savings to patients. Your organization’s ability to collect payment for service may mean the difference between thriving and just surviving.
Receivables performance tops list
In CFO’s 2012 “Cash & Liquidity Management” report, results from a survey of CFOs and other financial professionals pointed to accounts receivable improvements as a key area for managing working capital. When asked to rank from most important to least important the main dimensions of working capital, the respondents ranked “receivables performance” first, above “inventory management” (second) and “payables performance” (third).
When asked what changes would most contribute to cash flow management, respondents again pointed to receivables performance and collection, ranking “motivating account relationship holders to support collections activity” and “delivering better reports on account delinquencies across the company” as two of the top three influential changes. This is without a doubt the most important time in the history of the HME industry to have a comprehensive strategy for obtaining cash from patients. Providers have no options other than to adapt with the changing environment.