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Account Reconciliation- The Best Practice for Healthcare Industry

13 December 2017

In this century of new technology, changing government norms and industry reinforcement, the healthcare industry is facing an array of challenges in accounts reconciliation. Undoubtedly, it's tricky to manage accounting process in the healthcare business as there are many factors that contribute to the financial growth and improvement.  But reconciling is the utmost priority advanced pay close attention to where money could be leaking out of the practice and whether those leaks are due to frauds or errors.

So following are 8 best practices that healthcare industry should adhere to maintain a proper cash flow within their organization:

1.    Embrace a Change for the Better- You must adopt a change management environment in your healthcare firm. Whether it’s a new patient accounting systems or a new management or new ways to interact with customers, change is a major factor that impacts the overall financial operations of any healthcare provider. Because you don’t have a changing environment, then it becomes difficult for the team as well as you to adopt that sudden change it would be like you are changing horses in the middle of the river.

2.    Separate the Corporate Depository- Physician transactions are quite complex in nature and difficult to manage. So the hospitals have adequate reason to break down corporate silos by separating the hospital transactions from physician transactions. But there is a way to overcome these challenges, you can combine the activities into a centralized business office (CBO) or shared operation that extends both sides of the business and can simplify the payment gathering process.

3.    Streamline Bank and Processor Relationships- Several banks offer inexpensive collection-only depository accounts without disbursement proficiencies. If one sub-account is assigned to each healthcare provider it can enhance account reconciliation of the business. Moreover, it also consolidates merchant processing relationships and brings efficiency.

4.    Adopt Advance Payment Methods- Nowadays, people are going cashless due to development of credit and debit cards, which has made the payment process easier. So even the hospital and clinics of the physician are adopting this advance payment method and have started accepting debit or credit cards from the patient instead of cash. This method is secured and save the healthcare business from any kind of fraud.

5.    Market Point-of-Sale Collections- When the number of patient’s increases in the healthcare firm, many providers asks for co-payments in advance of appointments, and collect the remaining amount at point-of-service. But collecting advance payments might require a culture change from front desk employee, as they are the one who directly deals with patients. Even this helps to maintain an appropriate cash flow within the healthcare organization.

6.    Automate Refunds Procedure- Earlier, the healthcare providers use to issue checks to refund the amount to patients that include some additional costs and require manual intervention, which enforces patient’s trip to the bank.  That’s the reason some providers are looking for an automated platform such as a prepaid card, which doesn’t even require patients bank account. One more is alias- based payment method, where all you have to do is introduce payment with patient’s email address or mobile number and it automatically refunds the amount in the bank account of the concerned patient.

7.    Present Seamless Means to Pay- Accounting for doctors was never easy, so now they have introduced seamless ways to patients by adopting advanced techniques for payments. Nowadays, patients can make the payments via credit card and get a clinical portal, where they can review all the billing information and credit card payments. So for reviewing the statements, a patient needs to obtain a unique registration code for each visit.

8.    Provide Insurers Payment options- Healthcare providers must consider ways that enable payers to send check with paper remittance advice and automate remittance advice with the 835 standards.


Key Takeaways-

Accounts reconciliation is foremost tasks in the accounting process, whether it’s a retail business, manufacturing business, insurance business or healthcare providers all have to reconcile their books thoroughly. Reconciling statement gives an assurance that your books are error-free and no illegal activity is going on. Nevertheless, it’s a time-consuming process many healthcare providers opt for medical accounting services to streamline their reconciling process with accuracy. This enables the healthcare providers such as doctors, dentists, and medical practitioners to focus on their patients and provide them reliable services.