Fluence is currently reviewing each client’s payment categories used in the practice and will follow up with any recommendations for changes in this area including a daily Accounts Receivable checklist for your office to use moving forward. Why? There are several reasons for this:
- It is important all payments posted to your accounts receivable system clear the business bank account.
- Having payment categories that match the way it will clear your bank account makes the reconciliation easier for your office to double check this at the end of each day.
- This is an area where posting errors can occur.
- You want your office to find these errors before the patient does, preferably the day of posting keeping this as clean as possible.
- When payments are not easily reconciled to how they clear the bank account, some client case trends in the past have shown there could be something more going on.
- Do you have the wrong individuals in the position? Possibly they are not detailed and make a lot of posting errors.
- Is it messy on purpose and is there potential for embezzlement due to this?
- This is one of the areas the IRS audits. They want to see collections reported in the same month and tax year payments are posted to your accounts receivable system.
To make this simplified and as clean as possible, we are recommending the following payment categories are used:
- Cash Payment – for cash that clears as a deposit.
- Check Payment – for patient and insurance checks that clear as a deposit.
- EFT Insurance – for all insurance clearing as an EFT.
- Credit Card Payment – for all credit card types (i.e., Visa, Discover, American Express, etcetera) that clear in the merchant batch total together.
- This includes check payments if they clear with the merchant batch although we do not recommend you take insurance checks by credit card due to fees charged.
- If the credit card payment clears separately, it will have its own payment category.
- Care Credit Payment – for all care credit payments made if applicable.
- In–house Payment – for any in-house payment plan payments made if applicable.
If something clears separately from one of these groups listed, it will have its own payment category but otherwise you should only use these payment categories based on how it clears your bank account.
If you want to track how you received the payment from the patient, your employees can leave notes if needed when the payment is posted versus trying to track this by a specific payment category name used.
The final check and balance is your employees will run a report by payment category at the end of the day and the following will make sure what they posted will clear the bank at the same amount:
- Cash and Check Payments tie to the deposit slip.
- EFT Insurance ties to the EOB that day.
- Credit Card Payment ties to the merchant batch total.
- Care Credit Payment is tied to all care credit received that day.
- In-house Payments is tied to all in-house payments received that day.
By simplifying payment categories and creating daily checks and balances, this will help reduce posting errors and ultimately make sure your patient and insurance payments posted clear your bank account at the same amount.
We will be reaching out on any recommendations specific to your office over the next several months as we review each client, but please contact us with any questions you have in the meantime.