5 steps to automating credit balance resolution

By Jamshid Ebadi
| 2/19/2019
healthcare-net-rev-reporting

This article has been updated since its original publication date and is current as of Aug. 5, 2020..

Are you overlooking a critical aspect of your healthcare organization’s revenue cycle?

The average revenue cycle employee takes 15 minutes to manually resolve just one credit balance account.* That adds up to processing 160 accounts per workweek – and the typical medium-sized hospital’s patient accounting system creates thousands of credit balances per month.

Suffice it to say, the numbers don’t add up to staying on top of the churn of credit balances. And that’s troubling because of the potential missed payments caused by neglect as well as the financial penalties associated with unfulfilled regulatory and managed care requirements.

Healthcare organizations like yours can turn to automation to help streamline credit balance resolution processes and optimize staff time. Here are five steps leading up to automating this part of your revenue cycle.


Are you overlooking a critical aspect of your healthcare organization’s revenue cycle?

Identify resolutions to which automation can be immediately applied.

1. Identify resolutions to automate immediately.

Simple, common accounts that don’t require much human judgment to resolve are good candidates for automation. Examples include correcting contractual adjustments or resolving credit balances created when a patient payment is made after a bad debt adjustment.

2. Determine the best resolution processes.

Decision-makers should establish an organization’s performance standards by thoroughly reviewing existing processes and determining which ones are yielding the best results. If an organization has a team of people resolving credit balances, the most effective performers on the team should be interviewed about the methods they use. Those methods should then be compiled and evaluated.
2. Determine the best resolution processes.
3. Standardize best practices for credit balance resolution.

3. Standardize best practices for credit balance resolution.

Armed with a better understanding of how to work through credit balance accounts effectively and efficiently, leaders can come to an agreement on best practices for their organization. These processes should be included in organizational documentation on credit balance resolution and communicated to all staff and any technical resources the organization works with.

4. Systematize resolution best practices.

Once an organization standardizes the most efficient processes for resolving credit balances and institutes them as standard policies, it can start integrating these processes throughout the entire revenue cycle system. Then, it can move toward using more advanced technologies like machine learning to further improve processes.
4. Systematize resolution best practices.
5. Automate work steps within credit balance resolution.

5. Automate work steps within credit balance resolution.

As an organization more proficiently incorporates new technology into its workflows, it can begin to fully and confidently extend automation to a variety of credit balance resolutions, such as unclaimed property compliance.

* Based on data pulled from Crowe client engagements.

Get current on credit balance resolutions.

Is your team still trying to work through a credit balance backlog? You can get caught up with Crowe Credit Balance Management, a powerful software solution that can help you clear credit balances and increase revenues.
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Jamshid Ebadi
Principal