In this final post, in a series of 3, I wanted to discuss the importance of supporting the front office with patient collections. The third major takeaway from a recent webinar presented by Trizetto with Susan Childs, FACMPE is the idea of how to support the front office with over the counter collections.
We sometimes hear from our front desks that they do not like collecting money from patients. We also see it. Front desks collection rates can be low or even non-existent. Here are some tips presented by Susan Childs, FACMPE, for improving your front desk collections.
Notify patients of balances before they are seen. Review your appointment schedule. Don’t surprise the patient when they arrive for their appointment. Tell them before their appointment they have a balance due.
Post Financial Policies at front desk. Invite conversations (with a designated employee or department).
Train front staff! A little training can go a long way. Give them the tools to be successful. Front desks can benefit greatly from structure, workflow, checklists, policies, etc. It will reduce their stress and improve your collections.
Credit Card on File
Do not take abuse. It is important to establish boundaries. This is not a time for debate, but a transferring of information. If debate needs to happen, have a plan. What steps should be taken if a patient needs to discuss their statement in detail? What if the patient gets upset? Maybe take a few hours to act out potential situations and how the front desk can handle those situations. Have a clear internal policy in place so your front desk is confident with handling situations when they arise.
If a front desk has a little training and a little more support, they can be successful in aiding the practice with patient collections. Here at The Billing Department, we are that support for our front offices. We provide virtual training, workflow creation and general support as needed. Some days it is just a phone call about a situation that was difficult, and how to better manage those situations. We are not just our providers billing company, but an extension of their office, their Billing Department!