The Value of Consolidated Billing
Nobody understands the value of operational efficiency so much as a small business owner, particularly when the owner is both a business owner/operator AND a provider of services. Independent Optometry Practice owners must constantly balance the day-to-day operational management of the practice along with staying current on best practices for the prevention, diagnosis, and management of their patient’s eye health. When it comes to being a provider of services- there is little that can be done to remove the practitioner from their responsibilities as such. Regarding practice management, various tools are available to help Independent Optometry Practice owners become more efficient and effective in business management and day-to-day operations.
The heartbeat of the business (outside of patient flow) is cash flow management. Effective cash flow requires both strategy and tactical management of all monies coming into and going out of the practice. Managing “outgoing” expenses like eyewear, contact lens manufacturers, distributors, solution and equipment vendors, utilities, lease or mortgage payments and more can be time-consuming and confusing given the variable due dates, recurring payments, and discount and rebate programs that are common in this space.
Ultimately, your expense method should simplify and optimize your cash flow. Managing multiple expenses for multiple vendors on different dates is complex and if done poorly can easily leave a Practice in a position of constantly tracking invoices, delaying payments, and chasing rebates. With consolidated billing, you pay for multiple expenses at once, which in turn prevents delayed payments and saves you loads of time on repetition and unnecessary manual labor.
How Does Consolidated Billing in Independent Optometry Work?
A handful of qualified Consolidated Billing Groups in the market have proven reliable and effective, specifically for Independent eyecare professionals. Some groups will charge a fee to the Practice for the service, however, many do not. Essentially, if a Practice contracts with a Consolidated Billing Group, that Group assumes ownership and liability for any vendor invoices the practice directly them to.
These Groups work by creating their own proprietary contractual agreements with vendors (manufacturers, distributors, utilities, banks, etc.) Each vendor negotiates an administrative fee that they pay to the Consolidated Billing Group for every invoice the Group manages on their behalf. The Group then immediately works on your behalf by creating a single invoice (bill) for your practice ensuring that the invoice terms (due date, amount, discounts and rebates) from all your vendors are all included and applied.
At the end of the month, the practice can review, manage and pay one single invoice with complete transparency into each vendor invoice detail, including discounts and rebates owed. This takes the headache out of billing for many Independent Optometrists.
Top 5 Reasons Independent Optometry Practices Should Consolidate Their Bills
Not convinced of the value? Here are our Top 5 reasons Independent Optometry Practice owners should utilize Consolidated Billing:
- Prevent missed payments: Nobody enjoys wasting time chasing down invoices or negotiating late fees, not to mention the hassle of phone calls to credit & collections teams and/or sales reps, all of which take valuable time OUT of revenue-generating activity in your practice.
- Take advantage of all available “free money”: Most eyewear and contact lens manufacturers offer periodic discounts, promotions, and rebate programs. It can be a real challenge to be sure you are taking full advantage of the available money on the table. Consolidating invoices transfers the burden of adjudicating from you to your vendor while still providing transparency to you for your own review and analysis.
- Maintain control of cash flow: Working with a good, consolidated billing company, you can have more strategic control of the timing of your largest outgoing expenses. This is incredibly important when managing the flow and timing of incoming vs. outgoing cash through your practice.
- Save time and money: Perhaps the most frequently overlooked value is the time savings to your staff. Practices who perform all bill pay manually or even through accounting programs can find themselves spending 5-20 hours/week simply managing cash flow. Think of the reversal of fortune if you could re-direct staff to focus on revenue-generating activities while the burden of this administrative function was pushed to a qualified company to perform this important service, especially if it’s a consolidated biller that does not charge you for the service like CECOP USA.
Stay organized: Managing all the Practice expenses involves a lot of paperwork. Whether it is electronically or manually it can make it difficult to track records, manage billing cycles and analyze cash flow. Consolidated billing brings order to payment and billing cycles enabling a more accurate prediction of profitability.
For more information about best-in-class consolidated billing for Independent Eyecare Practices, call CECOP USA today at 888-466-8263 or visit their website: www.CECOPUSA.com
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