We all know the first impression is a lasting one. Your clinic’s first impression starts at your front desk. From the first phone call to the office, your front desk is sending a message about how well your clinic will take care of all the important details.
An efficient and friendly front desk is part of your patient’s overall experience with your clinic. This important role also directly affects how timely you get paid for services. The front desk sets in motion all the details the billing department will need to submit claims for insurance payments. Additionally, they are typically the arm of your business collecting the patient or self-pay portions of your bill.
In working with our clients to improve their medical billing processes, we’ve found that providers recover a vastly greater portion of their overall billing when processes and training are made priorities for the front desk staff.
We’ve created a simple checklist of some of the simple things your office can do to improve your accounts receivables.
Some Simple Tips:
- Provide checklists. When gathering important information, like insurance, provide a checklist for the front desk to be sure nothing is missed.
- Cleanliness and organization go together. Requiring the front desk area to be neat and clutter-free is essential for HIPAA compliance. It’s also easy to “lose” information of a desk that is overflowing with odds and ends of paper.
- Scripts. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words especially when you’re uncomfortable with what you need to say. Requesting payment from patients can be difficult for some, but it needs to be second nature for those at the front desk. Providing sample scripts for staff to use when asking for payments can be very helpful.
- Require accuracy. Data entry errors will increase claim rejections and delay payment. Double checking information needs to be part of your checklist.
- Never run out of the essentials. Having a well-stocked supply of the forms your office uses during registration will help keep your check-in process efficient. This is a very simple suggestion that can make a big different in real life.
- Signage. Advertising your payment policy helps. Simple messages such as prompt payment is appreciated, or all co-pays due at time of service let patients know your expectations and take some of the pressure off your front desk staff.
- Hire the right people for the job. Detailed-oriented, empathetic, organized, outgoing and friendly are some of the most important qualities to seek when hiring new staff for the front desk.
We hope these tips will help your office become more effective in collecting payments. If your clinic has more than 10% of overall A/R in the 90+ days columns, Outsource Receivables Inc can help. Contact us today for a consultation.