Medical Invoice Factoring: A Viable Financing Option for Healthcare Professionals
Many healthcare professionals will attest to the fact that qualifying for a business loan or commercial line of credit is becoming harder and harder. Fortunately, there is a viable option, and it's known as Medical Factoring. Medical factoring is available for all types of healthcare businesses, including medical practices, and is the ideal financing option for businesses experiencing cash flow problems.
The Challenges Faced by the Healthcare Industry
Generally, the healthcare industry has excellent growth prospects and is quite resilient to economic turbulence, but it's also an industry facing more financial challenges than ever before. In years gone by, healthcare professionals, medical facilities, and medical suppliers found it reasonably easy to manage their cash flow, but today Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance companies have laid down strict guidelines for reimbursement, including onerous documentation and billing requirements, so-much-so that businesses not only receive less money, but must wait longer to receive it.
This situation can, and does, create financial issues for many medical providers who, while dealing with increasing operating expenses, salaries, and benefits, must also accept less and wait longer to receive their money. In many cases, the health provider's long-term viability is placed in jeopardy, and because of cash flow problems the business is unable to pursue new opportunities for growth. A physician running a relatively small practice could well have $1 million tied up in receivables!
The Problem with Bank Loans
When any business confronts a cash flow crisis their first port of call is usually a bank or other commercial lender, and a Line of Credit or business loan can certainly help in the short term; however, neither will permanently solve the problem and are therefore not optimal financing solutions. Bank loans are more suited to large fixed capital purchases, but they're not designed to cover short-term recurring business expenses. On the other hand, a Line of Credit is somewhat better, but because they have credit limits and fixed terms they're not able to provide the assurance a business needs of an unlimited, renewable source of business capital. Once the credit limit has been reached or the term of credit line ends, the lender has the right to not renew or increase the credit limit. And, unfortunately, this is the situation that many healthcare professionals find themselves in today.
The Perfect Medical Financing Solution
So, what's the ideal solution for medical financing? The perfect solution would be one that's flexible enough to grow and expand with the healthcare business; one where the business owner is not required to re-apply to a bank or other lender for credit limit increases. The ideal solution would provide a reliable and steady source of working capital, capable of financing both the current and future operations of the business.
Fortunately, there is a solution for healthcare professionals, and it's known as Medical Factoring. Medical Factoring, or Medical Receivables Factoring is an area of receivables factoring that deals exclusively with accounts that are medical in nature. Due to the fact that many healthcare receivables are either reduced or denied by insurance providers, and because of the expertise required to manage the claims process, factoring companies who factor medical receivables face significant challenges, so-much-so that it's almost a necessity for these companies to specialize in medical factoring. In fact, there are many factoring companies out there that do nothing else!
What Types of Business Use Medical Factoring?
Factoring has been around for hundreds of years and many industries have discovered the benefits of invoice factoring. However, many medical service providers are completely unaware of the existence of factoring and therefore don't realize that it's one of the most flexible and powerful business financing tools available today. Almost any healthcare provider can benefit from Medical Factoring, including -
- Medical Centers and Hospitals;
- Physicians - General Practitioners and Specialists;
- Outpatient Facilities and Clinics;
- Medical Staffing Services;
- Medical Labs;
- Dialysis Facilities;
- Physical Therapy Groups and Clinics;
- Rehabilitation Centers;
- Home Healthcare Providers;
- Providers of Durable Medical Equipment.
The Benefits of Medical Factoring
The benefits of medical factoring are many, and are similar to those enjoyed by businesses in other industries. They include -
- Fast payment;
- Consistent cash flow;
- Outsourced accounting and invoice collection;
- An increase in percentage of billings collected;
- Working capital finance that's debt free;
- Building business credit.
Receivables Factoring offers medical practices an excellent financing alternative to loans: the medical practice will have consistent and flexible financing tied directly to its insurance claims. This means that the amount of available financing increases as more claims are filed. Having a reliable cash flow in a growing medical practice ensures that there will always be sufficient liquid business capital to cover expenses.
Medical Supply Companies
In the same way, medical factoring offers medical supply companies quick and predictable business financing, directly tied to the volume of sales. The amount of financing grows as sales grow, automatically providing the working capital needed to both operate and grow the business.
Generally, medical factoring is particularly well suited for smaller medical offices. Because your chosen factoring company will be handling most of the administrative work involved in collections and claims processing, overhead expenses and office staffing can be kept at a minimum, thus allowing you to focus on what you do best - delivering the best medical care possible!
If you have a small practice with good growth prospects, but you also have slow cash flow, then you'll soon discover that medical factoring could well be the ideal financing tool to help you finance the growth of your business. It's true that most factoring companies have minimums, but there are factoring companies out there who will finance an office billing as little as $50,000 per month.
How Medical Receivables Factoring Works
Medical Factoring is quite simple: Basically, medical factoring accelerates payments for any healthcare business that depends on third-party payors. This means that within days of the initial billing (instead of weeks) most of the business's billed amount will be deposited directly into that business's bank account, thus drastically shortening the collection cycle and eliminating the constant headache of cash flow problems.
The added bonus of medical factoring is that it's not a loan, and as such, has no impact whatsoever on the business's balance sheet. There are no arbitrary limits, no credit limits, and no stringent financial requirements. The healthcare professional can factor as much of the billing as is generated by the business, thus making factoring the ideal financing tool for business growth.
How to Create a Factoring Program
Setting up a factoring program will typically take a couple of weeks at most. Obviously, the factoring company will need reassurance that the third-party payors are reliable and that their clients' practices are stable. However, once the factoring program has been established, medical financing is predictable and continuous. Claims will typically be funded within 48 hours after being submitted to the medical factoring company.
The Factoring Process
Medical Factoring is a very simple process -
- Periodically, your practice submits billings to Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies (note that certain medical factoring companies will do this for you), with copies forwarded to your factoring company;
- Within 48 hoursthe advance, or up to 85% of net collectables, will be deposited into your business bank account. The balance will be held in reserve to settle billing discrepancies;
- The factoring fee will be collected once a factoring company has been paid, with the balance of the billings being remitted to you. The fee charged by the medical factoring company will vary according to the size and types of claims generated by the practice.
The Future of Medical Factoring
It's true that medical factoring covers a relatively small portion of factoring activity overall; however, more healthcare professionals are learning about factoring and, today, we're seeing an increase in interest in medical factoring throughout the healthcare industry. As the benefits of this type of medical financing become more widely known, it's anticipated that medical receivables factoring will become more widely used.
Medical factoring provides a short-term solution for shortfalls in working capital financing, plus a long-term solution for medical financing and patient accounting support, and it's for these reasons that medical factoring as a financing tool deserves careful consideration by healthcare businesses.