Patient account representatives are the essential foundation within a practice or hospital's revenue cycle. When your representatives are properly trained and well educated, you will see a dramatic increase in cash flow and patient satisfaction. In order to create a productive and profitable practice, it begins with providing staff with the appropriate training and tools that they need in order to be successful at their jobs. Here are a few reasons why you should consider providing ongoing training for your patient account representatives:
Providing the best service and patient care does not depend entirely on a provider's ability or the amount of resources a practice may have. While new technologies are certainly helping physicians improve care delivery, patient satisfaction can be achieved by simply having a friendly and welcoming staff. By creating an environment where there is a commitment to exceptional service, patients will feel respected and appreciated and this will positively reflect the patient's attitude towards paying you. Employee engagement – and a commitment to the company’s values and goals – starts with your practice’s providers and goes all the way down the line to your front desk staff and healthcare accounts receivable employees.
Has poor medical accounts receivable management resulted in a reduction of cash flow for your medical practice? For hospitals and providers, it is not uncommon for accounts receivables to be put on the back burner. However, getting paid for services rendered is crucial in maintaining a successful practice and fulfilling your mission. Here are some common accounts receivable problems that can decrease your revenue and tips on how to fix them:
When your accounts receivable staff is spending too much time on the back end collecting money that should have been paid up-front, it is time to consider looking into revenue cycle management training. Receiving money from patients at, or before, the time of service is the most effective way to ensure co-pays, co-insurances and other visit fees are collected in full, while making the most efficient use of staff resources.
Whether you run a large hospital, a mid-sized medical facility, or a single-provider practice, you will find that slow-paying patients will be everywhere and can be a great source of frustration in the healthcare accounts receivable world. In addition to managing slow-paying patients, dealing with patients whose medical debts are unpaid can be even more frustrating because you are unable to contact them for payment. Incorrect or missing demographic information in patient accounts are called skips and often impede the collections process from moving forward. Healthcare organizations facing this problem should consider the benefits of skiptracing – a process that locates missing information on a patient who has either skipped out on their obligation or simply cannot be located.
The main reasons why patient account representatives find collecting patient responsibility so challenging is that they are not confident in what they may or may not be allowed to say, and they are unfamiliar with current industry regulations. Unless originally trained by a medical collections expert, most patient account representatives will not have the knowledge of best collection practices, as well as understanding their important role in the revenue cycle process.