Bill Sample / December 8, 2018 / Rosalie Cain
Useful metrics must be comprehensive and simple. They must combine both complete end-to-end processes and their individual components. Metrics must be used consistently over time and compared to standards. Obviously different standards apply to different medical specialties patient demographics payers and samples of CPT codes. Medical billing metrics typically include compliance cash balances charges accounts receivable and collection ratios to help monitor cash flow. This article focuses on performance metrics. For discussion of compliance program see companion article on Medical Billing Compliance. Collection Ratios Traditional metrics include gross and net collection ratios. Both metrics are subjective to individual practice because they compare (often arbitrary) charges to (allowed) payments.
This lag time roughly averages across all payers making DAR an effective comparison metric between payers for individual provider but invalidating it across multiple providers. One obvious advantage of DAR metric is its independence of charges. The averaging feature of this metric eliminates sensitivity to specific day or CPT but also hides the behavior shape of the accounts receivable curve. First-Pass Pay (FPP Rate) and Denial Rate FPP is the percentage of claims paid in full the first time upon submission (subject to federal or state timely payment regulations: 15 days for electronic submission and 30 days - for paper). Denial rate is the complementary metric to FPP rate. It counts the percent of claims that require followup and therefore cost more to process.
This number has improved down to 17.7% in 2004. In summary comprehensive and charge-invariant metrics such as PARBX are more informative and objective than collection ratios. However these metrics alone fall short from identifying specific areas for billing process improvement. Modern technology helps identifying billing bottlenecks as it allows interactive review of multiple metrics along different aggregation dimensions. For instance PARBX metric is especially helpful to identify patterns of problem claims containing specific payer or CPT code. Further modern Vericle-like technologies enable comparison of every payment to allowed amount and subsequent appeal on every denial effectively reducing the average percent of accounts receivable to low single digits.