HOW TO SET YOUR PRACTICE’S FRONT DESK TEAM UP FOR SUCCESS
It’s no secret that your front desk team is an important part of your practice, especially when it comes to finances and patient experience. They are the first to talk to your patients when the appointment is being made, as well as the first to see the patient when they arrive at your office. In order for your practice to run as successfully as possible, the front desk team should be trained thoroughly on handling these encounters.
Below are six items that should be a part of every front desk team’s patient appointment and arrival process. If followed correctly, these tasks will not only improve your patient experience, but will also positively impact your bottom line.
- Depending on your practice patient appointment type, when scheduling an annual exam, confirm that it has been one calendar year since the patient’s last exam. Otherwise, the visit will not be paid.
- Verify the patient’s address, phone number and email address on every visit. Providing your front desk team with a script on how to ask the specific questions is key:
- DO YOU STILL RESIDE AT 123 DOCTOR BLVD?
- YOUR COPAY FOR TODAY’S VISIT IS $20.00.
- WILL YOU BE PAYING BY CASH, CHECK OR CREDIT CARD? etc.
- Verify the patient’s insurance information and check eligibility for every visit. The majority of incorrect insurance submissions are for the incorrect Medicare and Medicaid plans. It is very important to make a copy of the patient’s card(s) so that the insurance information is entered accurately.
- If a referral is required, make sure you have one on file for the current service.
- When scheduling your patient appointments, inform the patient of the copay or the balance due and let them know a payment will be expected at the time of service. Requiring patient copays and balances at the time of service can help your practice save money by minimizing the patient statement costs.
- Establish a self-pay policy and ensure patients are informed of it, as well as the amount due at the time of scheduling their appointment. If the payment is not obtained on the appointment date, the patient’s appointment should be rescheduled.
By establishing and implementing firm policies such as those listed here, your practice can prevent unnecessary denials and unpaid services, which will ultimately improve your bottom line.