Running and working aging reports is a task that tends to be put on the back burner in many busy practices, but neglecting it can negatively affect the bottom line. When rejected claims get out of control and accumulate, two things can happen: 1) revenue can slow, and 2) you risk hitting timely filing limits (which could mean no payment at all for some of your claims).
Fortunately, there’s no reason to let the task become overwhelming—just make sure that your practice proactively tackles rejections by understanding how to run aging reports in your practice management system. This will allow you to run and work aging reports on a regular basis. A good rule to follow is that these reports should be run at least every 30, 60 or 90 days. By doing this, you can quickly see which claims remain outstanding, so you can take action to make sure they get paid.
These days, when every dollar counts, I recommend that every practice follow these six strategies to take control of rejected claims:
1. Be consistent about running aging reports regularly. This could be every 30 or 60 days, depending on patient volume and the timely filing limits set by your major payers. A larger, multi-site practice might benefit from daily reports. As a general rule, though, no practice should go longer than 90 days between reports. In general, you have an issue with any claim not paid after three months!
2. Know your high-volume payers and their timely filing limits. For example, if your highest volume payer has a 60-day limit, be sure to run reports every 30 days. For payers with a one-year timely filing limit, it might be enough to run aging reports every 90 days. Choose the timeframe that best fits your practice and your payers.
3. Don’t forget about other payers. Work down from your highest-volume payers to medium- and lower-volume payers, always scheduling reports against timely filing limits.
4. Be on the lookout for trends. Sort through your claims data using date range and payer filters to monitor significant changes in claim volume processed. That lets you spot problems quickly, and address them before they get out of control.
5. Confirm claims receipts daily. Many clearinghouses have a channel on their portal that can confirm the correct claims files have been accepted by the clearinghouse.
6. Monitor the claims that have not been submitted. If you are using a clearinghouse, make sure you have a way to know when claims actually leave the clearinghouse and are accepted by the payer.
Don’t just write off claims. Remember, your payers can’t reimburse for claims lost in the rejection process.
Are you using aging reports in your practice to help with your claims management? Share your comments below.