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Improving Collections Has No Blueprint

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2013

The outside firm immediately went to work, starting with the oldest accounts first, because, as Gold notes, "The older an account becomes, the harder it is to collect."

Gold says he has a "practical" attitude toward the idea of working with another company on collections. "I'm not afraid to ask for help. I think our organization's strength was being able to surrender a little bit and understand and acknowledge that we had issues and attach a sense of urgency to that, which has been directly related to our results."

In addition to getting external help, Gold says Promise also looked within the organization, calling on employees in the finance area to improve internal collections processes.

"I told everyone the fact is we are not collecting at the rate that we should be, so let's pick some metrics for where we want to be and get moving towards it. That is all about style and leadership and how you get things done," he says.

Gold created a task force and charged those involved with coming up with ideas and solutions. The biggest issue identified by the task force was the need to improve the accuracy and completeness of the bills that were being submitted to the billing office.

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1 comments on "Improving Collections Has No Blueprint"


Ian R. Lazarus (5/13/2013 at 5:19 PM)
Our firm trained an inner city hospital to dramatically improve collections. This hospital operates near the Mexican border, where undocumented immigrants were given driving directions on crossing! The hospital aimed to improve collections in their ED in particular, where patients were leaving before reconciling their financial obligations. Our firm trains in Lean Six Sigma principles, and by applying them in the ED, we more than doubled collections. The hospital gains the knowledge of how to apply Lean Six Sigma in other areas as well. In other words, we did not just fish for them, we taught them how to fish on their own!