Poor management of a practice’s collections can have a number of negative effects, including reduced or delayed revenue as well as owed balances spending too much time in Accounts Receivable. By implementing some simple training methods and best practices, however, your practice can improve collections management.
In this blog, we will offer you some tips and tricks on how to improve collections in your practice.
Preparing Your Practice Staff
There are a number of things you can do to train and otherwise prepare your staff in how they can collect from patients both promptly and politely:
- Collect Up Front – If a staff member is personally confirming appointments, you should train that person to attempt collection of balances or copays when doing so; you can also collect balances or copays when patients check in for appointments.
- Be Aware of Phrasing – How things are worded is important, so train staff to be aware of phrasing when requesting a payment. For example, instead of saying “Do you want to pay today?”, they should use the more affirmative statement of “How will you be paying for your appointment today?”
- Role Play with Staff – A very effective method of training is to role play with all staff members who are responsible for collecting monies from patients. Such training will empower them and prepare them to respond to potentially awkward situations. The more they role play, the more comfortable they will feel when asking for money from patients.
Best Practices for Collecting Balances
To streamline your collections processes, we recommend implementing the following best practices among your staff:
- Your practice’s billing team needs to have a clear and open line of communication with Front Desk personnel so they can provide any patient balances that are scheduled each day.
- Set up an alert in your practice management or billing software that automatically informs the front desk to collect the amount due for a patient at check-in/checkout.
- Never refuse if a patient wants to provide early payment. It is always better to over-collect than it is to lose out (you can always refund the overpayment amount later on).
- Be sure that members of front desk staff are always collecting any additional charges from the patient at checkout (and, upon check-in, be sure to the patient is made aware that this may happen).
- Perform routine reporting on outstanding balances and leverage automation tools for sending statements and other follow-up activities.
Collections can sometimes be uncomfortable for patients and staff, as money can sometimes be a hard subject to discuss. By implementing the training and best practices provided in this blog, however, you will be able to provide a simple and effective collection experience that reduces awkward feelings for everyone while boosting revenue.
To learn more about how Nextech’s billing and financial management tools can significantly improve revenue for your practice, fill out this form and a member of our team will contact you shortly!