5 Keys to Effectively Managing Your Accounts Receivable

Donna White

Donna White

By Donna White, Principal Consultant and Owner of Legacy Consulting Services and Legacy Billing Solutions in Montgomery, Alabama.

Is your practice getting paid timely and accurately? A growing Accounts Receivable (AR) has a significant impact on the cash flow and profitability of your business. Let’s discuss 5 keys to effectively managing Accounts Receivable.

1. Over-the-Counter Collections

Here’s a simple way to ensure patient payments: collect from patients at the time of service. The goal should be to collect 100% of all co-pays up front and an estimated portion for any coinsurance. If insurance is properly verified, it is possible to know whether the patient will owe a portion of his/her deductible as well. Just copays alone will likely represent 35% of total allowable collections, due to increased copays. We can assist you with tracking patient payments in several ways such as setting up transaction types in your practice management system. It is possible to track and post OTC cash, OTC check, OTC credit card vs. payments received from sending statements posted as Billing cash, Billing check, or Billing credit card. It’s also beneficial to have a clear payment or financial policy followed by everyone in the office. Legacy can recommend and implement policies for financial responsibility, over the counter collections, financial hardship, patient statement processing, outside collections and many more.  

2. Timely and Consistent AR Follow-Up by Dedicated Team Members

Another helpful tip is to tackle all insurance claims outstanding greater than 30 days.  We often see practices lose sight of working denials and outstanding accounts receivable. It is a critical task for the financial health of the company and will help you stay on top of outstanding balances and keep the cash coming through the door. Our team runs detailed, aged outstanding accounts receivable reports and creates custom worklists for your staff so you can assign prioritized tasks to specific team members and track productivity. 

3. Denials Management

It’s important to stay on top of any denials received and posted into the practice management system within the past week. This allows the practice to identify any trends, recover any lost income and improve cash flow. Every payor has a different timely filing limit. Your account representatives should be aware of these different timely filing limits and prioritize payors with lesser filing limits over payers with longer filing limits. By targeting shorter deadlines, you’ll get your payment faster. Legacy has a team of denial experts who can assist with working denials and handling appeals, as needed, to increase cash. We can also train your team members in the denied claims best practices.

4. Accountability Tools

Try utilizing a practice management system-based tracking or Excel spreadsheet for accounts worked and follow-ups needed. We recommend that any tool track the status of the account when it was worked and the action taken to resolve or get paid on the claim.  This tracking assists in analyzing trends, escalating payor issues, educating team members and much.  Our team utilizes Excel productivity tracking for all of our clients and we report critical information to practices on a weekly and/or monthly basis. 

5. Data Analysis

We also recommend generating Accounts Receivable reports every two weeks by financial class by payor, preferably in Excel for data manipulation. The reason that Excel is so important for AR reports is because it allows sorting or filtering by financial class, payor, highest to lowest dollars, and focusing on timely filing per payor based on the aging bucket. Typically it is the Revenue Cycle Manager or Practice Administrator who is responsible for analyzing the AR reports and ensuring that the team is working outstanding claims or accounts in the correct order of priority. A custom worklist also helps team members focus on priorities and assists staff members with isolating key problems. It also helps identify positive or negative trends in an office, payor, financial class, and so on. 


Stop struggling with revenue cycle management challenges, turnover, and outstanding accounts receivable collections. Call Legacy Consulting Services to arrange an appointment.

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