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Uncovering Hidden Revenue: The Low-Balance Account Opportunity
Blog Feature
Brian Kenyon

By: Brian Kenyon on May 15th, 2024

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Uncovering Hidden Revenue: The Low-Balance Account Opportunity

Business Insights

For years, the conventional wisdom in the finance and healthcare sectors has been that low-balance accounts represent negligible value — they're seen as more trouble than they're worth, consuming resources that could be otherwise directed to higher-yield pursuits. That sentiment is precisely where many of us have been getting it wrong. In the labyrinth of the revenue cycle, low balance accounts often hide opportunities for incremental, sometimes substantial, returns that can significantly impact a hospital's financial health. Here's why you shouldn't glaze over these seemingly small accounts, and how to transform them into a robust source of revenue.



A Deeper Look at Low-Balance Accounts

It's a common perception that accounts with low balances are not worth chasing. This notion seems reasonable; after all, why expend effort pursuing an account that may yield only a few dollars in return? Nevertheless, when examined closely, the aggregate sum of these accounts can be significant. When processed efficiently in bulk, these small accounts can add up to .5% of net revenue with 1/5th of the work back to a hospital's finances. A strategic outlook that incorporates these balances can inject a level of consistency and stability into what is typically a volatile revenue cycle.


Identifying groups of these low-balance accounts can be a manual, tedious and inaccurate process. Are there patterns in the types of services associated with these accounts? Are certain demographics or insurance groups more prone to generate low-balance invoices? However, leveraging machine learning and analytics, healthcare providers can pinpoint opportunities that might otherwise be overlooked.


Outsource to Outshine: Why Partners are the Solution

The decision to overlook low-balance accounts is often influenced by a lack of time, insufficient staffing, or a lack of technology. The answer lies in selective outsourcing; choosing a trusted vendor specializing in low-balance collections can be the financial art of delegation.


Outsourcing to reputable partners provides two key benefits. Firstly, it discharges work that would be time-consuming or too resource-intensive for in-house teams, allowing them to focus on more profitable activities. Secondly, seasoned partners with specialized tools and expertise can significantly improve collection rates on these overlooked accounts.


The Ultimate Takeaway

With every aspect of the financial industry moving towards optimization and efficiency, it's crucial that healthcare providers also reframe their approach to low-balance accounts. By leveraging machine learning, automation, analytics and outsourcing, hospitals can recapture historically lost revenue.


Looking forward, the integration of technology is set to radically change the way we perceive and manage our finances. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, for instance, are making it easier than ever to identify and collect on low-balance accounts without breaking the bank.


These cutting-edge tools can predict which low-balance accounts will yield the highest returns, enabling healthcare providers to focus their efforts where it counts most.


The way we manage our revenue cycles determines the financial health of our institutions. It's time to think beyond the balance, and realize that in the world of finance, there's no such thing as an insignificant amount. Every penny matters, and when treated as such, low-balance accounts can become the unsung heroes of a hospital's fiscal success.



About Brian Kenyon

Brian Kenyon oversees and manages the daily operations for PMMC's Business Intelligence division. He has over 8 years of experience in healthcare revenue cycle and business intelligence.