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Are Hospitals Auctioning Debt?

Understanding Modern Cash Flow Strategies

By Ross Filder

By Karen White PhD

www.HealthcareFinancials.com

As a sign of the contracting economic times, some struggling hospitals are using a new method to collect revenue: the Internet. It has become a channel to cut write-offs and bad debt ratios, which lower stock prices if publicly held.

Rather than simply hiring agencies to collect patient bills, hospitals have begun to put their accounts receivable (ARs) up for auction online. Bidders on the debt include the same agencies that serve the hospitals, some of which provide guaranteed payments to hospitals in exchange for access to the debt. 

Strategy Attractive to Buyer and Sellers

The auctions are also attracting other companies that buy the debt outright. For example, one method that a facility based medical practice used to auction debt was for the hospital to determine the criteria it would use for selecting the debt to be auctioned. The criteria generally focus on ARs that are a certain age, but demographic regions, legal accounts, and monthly payment accounts were also be considered.

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=accounting&iid=289186″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/289186/corporate-details/corporate-details.jpg?size=500&imageId=289186″ width=”335″ height=”480″ /]

Request for Proposal

Once the criteria are determined, a listing of accounts is generated and supplied to potential buyers along with a Request for Proposal that asks each potential buyer to provide information on their experience in servicing hospital-type ARs, as well as details of their expertise, collection techniques, references, and price. 

Usually the winning bidder will pay a flat price for the entire AR.  It is important for the hospital to understand that when auctioning ARs the winning bidder owns the accounts and their collection tactics will not necessarily comply with the hospital’s standards for collections.

Automation

Automation can lead to decreased paperwork, process standardization, increased productivity, and cleaner claims. In 2004, Hospital & Health Network’s “Most Wired Survey” [1] found that the 100 most wired hospitals — including three out of the four AA+ hospitals in the country — had better control of expenses, higher productivity, and efficient utilization management. These numerics are much higher today. Additionally, these top hospitals tend to be larger and have better access to capital.

Assessment

The positive return on investment in technology increases allocation of funding to technology. This correlation is important because it begins to link the investment in information technology with positive financial returns in all areas of a hospital’s business, including the revenue cycle.

Conclusion

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Events Planner: July 2010

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Events-Planner: JULY 2010

Staff Writers

“Keeping track of important health economics and financial industry meetings, conferences and summits”

Welcome to this issue of the Medical Executive-Post and our Events-Planner. It contains the latest information on conferences, news, and relevant resources in healthcare finance, economics, research and development, business management, pharmaceutical pricing, and physician/entity reimbursement!  Watch for a new Events-Planner each month.

First, a little about us! The Medical Executive-Post is still a relative newcomer. But today, we have almost 175,000 visitors and readers each month from all over the country, in addition to our growing subscriber base. We have been a successful collaborative effort, thanks to your contributions.  As a result, we are adding new resources daily. And, we hope the website continues to provide the best place to go for journals, books, conferences, educational resources, tools, and other things you need to establish the value your healthcare consulting and financial advisory intervention.

So, enjoy the Medical Executive-Post and this monthly Events-Planner with our compliments. 

A Look Ahead this Month

Now, the important dates:

July 15: Leadership Summit on Managed Care Contracting, San Diego, CA

July 20: Leadership Summit on Medicare, Washington, DC

July 21: Creating a Multi-Family Office Workshop, Westin, Chicago, IL

July 22: Process Improvement in Healthcare, Chicago, IL

July 25: Healthcare Payments Expo, Chicago, IL

July 27: Innovative Alternative Strategies Conference, Westin, IL

Please send in your meetings and dates for listing in the next issue of our Events-Planner.

MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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