Financial struggles, outdated technology and infrastructure and overall difficulties in competing with new communities—these were among the challenges shared by a resident and board member of a senior living community who attended BKD’s Lounge Chat, “By the Numbers,” led by BKD Partner Brian Hickman and Director Juli Pascoe. Unfortunately, these are common themes plaguing many in the senior living industry. To address these challenges and help communities pursue their mission, keeping finances in order is paramount. Is your revenue cycle using best practices, or are you missing money? Consider these questions and points from the Lounge Chat to help you generate, bill, collect and—most importantly—keep your revenue.


Are you proactively managing your financial risk by diversifying your revenue stream? A diversified revenue stream can help you manage risks created by the tumultuous environment of the constantly changing senior living industry.


Do you have billing best practices in place? If so, are you implementing them? Is your billing staff actually trained in skilled nursing billing? Having an adequately trained staff to specifically bill for senior living makes a significant difference in your billing processes. Also, electronically submitting all claims speeds up the turnaround time for insurance payments and frees up staff from having to call and check claim status.


Do you know when your payors pay? Do you have a process for following up on claims? Knowing when to expect payments and keeping a calendar to follow up on claims helps you better manage the collections process. Requiring staff to use collection notes in your billing software or an Excel spreadsheet makes it easier to identify problem accounts and track collection efforts.


Do you have an effective compliance program to handle increased governmental scrutiny? Even if you have effective billing and collection processes, you have to know and apply the rules to keep your revenue. To help, consider implementing an internal review process to design a compliance strategy and leverage in-depth reviews to monitor and maintain compliance. In addition, you should have monthly accounts receivable meetings to help ensure staff are on top of problem balances.