While medical billing requires extensive knowledge of the constantly adapting medical codes, it also requires accurate information from the staff who collect those initial details from and interact more regularly with the patient. Most notably, the front desk team. Without the correct insurance and identification info, the entire billing process will not be able to correctly go through, and patients will not always know when they have a balance due up-front. To ensure less mistakes and more approved claims, here are some best practices for the front staff.
Ensure that front staff have a process in place for both new and returning clients. When scheduling, they should ask for their insurance information to ensure the patient is in-network and save everyone the time and headache of an uninsured bill. That information should then be confirmed when the patient comes in for their appointment whether it’s an initial or returning visit. Insurance ineligibility is one of the top reasons a bill is rejected, so the front staff should be supplied a script for patients when they arrive. They should ask questions such as:
Is your insurance information accurate and up-to-date?
Are you under any other insurance plans?
Have you contacted your insurance regarding the maximum number of allowable visits?
With the right Practice Management (PM) software, the front staff should also be aware of any balances that need to be collected on the day of the appointment: outstanding bills, copays, etc. Plans with higher deductibles mean more money due out-of-pocket, so this has become a common requisite for front staff to be prepared to handle. However, this also means the patient is more likely to try and skip their payments due to competing bills for other household needs, so the front staff should be open to working with them. Train your front staff on how your clinic will handle these instances going forward.
In between visits, patients could still have payments due that will require follow-up from the front staff. They are your key mediator between provider and patient, so they should be trained on how to contact patients for outstanding balances and any payment plans your clinic might offer.
It takes a team to successfully streamline the medical billing process, which is why Outsource Receivables Inc. has partnered with hundreds of clinics in the nation. Give us a call if you’d like to learn more about how you can improve your medical billing and increase your clinic’s productivity.