Of course, the best way to manage A/R problems is not to let them happen in the first place. Typically, such bad debt control occurs because the doctor is too busy treating patients or the front office staff does not have or follow a formal written system of A/R controls.
Accordingly, here are two useful checklists that one may want to consider for staying on top of A/R accounts.
Internal Accounts Receivable Control Checklist
• Do I check pre-numbered patient encounter forms for on a daily basis?
• Should employees who post payments to A/Rs open invoices or make bank deposit slips?
• Do I reconcile patient sign-in sheets to the appointment book and either the daily report of charges or day sheet?
• Do I review daily payment reports or the day sheet to detect payments that may not have been posted?
• Do I review contractual adjustments to make sure amounts appear reasonable after considering payer mix?
• Do I track patient charge information on EOBs to each ledger sheet and deposit slip and investigate discrepancies?
• Do I review patient ledger cards for written off balances?
• Do I institute and police an account write-off bad debt policy with signature authorization?
• Do I issue a computer password to authorized personnel?
• Are all employees bonded?
• Is an office manger authorized to sign checks?
• Does an A/R manager approve vendor invoices before signing checks?
• Do I regularly review cancelled check endorsements and investigate irregularities?
Accounts Receivable/Bad Debt Expense Control Checklist
• Do written A/R collections guidelines exist for all third-party and self-pay accounts?
• Are A/R collection guidelines reviewed annually and revised periodically?
• Are A/R collection guidelines clearly detailed to serve as a reference to personnel?
• Do employees receive training on collection guidelines?
• Do employees receive training on collection guidelines after revisions?
• Do I solicit suggestions for changes in policies and procedures?
• Do A/R guideline exceptions require approval on a case-by-case basis?
• Do self-pay A/R guidelines allow monthly payments?
• Do self-pay A/R guidelines specify the maximum number of acceptable payments?
• Do self-pay A/R guidelines specify the minimum monthly acceptable payment?
• Do A/R collection guidelines specify actions to take if a patient misses a payment?