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ASC collections during the pandemic: 3 things to know

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The COVID-19 pandemic has made proactive revenue cycle management and cash flow top priorities for ASCs, according to Regent Revenue Cycle Management, an independent division of Westchester, Ill.-based Regent Surgical Health.

In a new whitepaper, Regent RCM shared three key insights for ASCs working through cash flow challenges:

1. To shore up finances, ASCs should focus on two specific areas, according to Erin Petrie, vice president of Regent RCM.

"We look at all aging accounts receivable, and on any new cases, we work with centers to maximize what they are collecting upfront from patients," she said.

2. Some ASCs are seeing delays in payer reimbursement timelines.

"Historically, if a payer paid in 30 or 40 days, today, it is closer to 50 or 60 days. That will have a material impact on your revenue cycle," Ms. Petrie said.

3. To reach cash collection goals, it's important for ASCs to have dedicated staff focused on collections and a strategic approach to upfront financial counseling. Making patients aware of what they will owe upon check in makes a significant difference in collections, according to Regent RCM Manager Leslie Favela.

"Before we defined our process around upfront financial counseling and upfront collections, patients would check in, have their surgery, and afterwards in the billing notes, it would say, 'Couldn't collect because patient was not aware of balance,'" Ms. Favela said. "Now, the patients are coming in either with a plan or with payment. They are already educated, and that eases patients' minds as well."

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