Posted on 07. Feb, 2010 by in Hot Coding Topics
Collecting money from patients, especially during a recession, can be challenging. If your front desk is responsible for collecting copays and sometimes old balances, its success or failure has a dramatic impact on the practice’s bottom line.
Check out five ways you can improve your front desk collection efforts:
1. When calling to remind patients about their visit date, also remind them of their co-pay amount and any old balances so they come prepared to pay at the visit.
2. When a patient complains about paying a bill, send her to a manager so the bill can be reviewed and explained.
3. Most practice management software will allow front desk staff to view outstanding balances. Your front desk staff can politely remind the patient that there is a balance and say something like, “How would you like to pay your bill today?” Assume that the patient is planning to pay.
4. If the patient has a problem paying their balance or paying for the visit that day, do not discuss this at the front desk. Respect his privacy. Staff may wish to take him to a manager’s office where a payment plan or other arrangement can be established.
5. Ask your manager about offering discounts to patients with no insurance if they pay for the visit at checkout instead of sending them a bill.
And one extra tip: Involve Your Supervisor. Pearl Stafford, front office manager for an internist and gastroenterologist in Naples, FL, who also once worked for a psychiatrist where she assumed the role of the receptionist from time to time, acknowledges that old or really old AR can be difficult to collect. “A lot hinges on the physician,”says Stafford. “In this particular office, my physician provided incentive. Since the...
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