A clinic’s front desk can make or break its success – but they can also be the unsung heroes of a practice.
As the first and last line of your clinic, it’s important that your front desk staff understand their effect on the clinic and be empowered to impact the patient experience. Because when it comes to practice management and the front desk, you don’t have to learn everything the hard way. While the school of hard knocks can be educational, learning important lessons ahead of time can save you trouble down the road.
Wondering where you can start? Share the below four major lessons with your front desk staff to get you on the road to increased patient collections, fuller schedules and a better patient experience.
Make customer service and the patient experience your biggest priority – not administrative work.
The best (and least expensive) way to differentiate your practice from one across town, increase patient visits and build a robust referral base, is through superior customer service and a great patient experience. Communicate with your staff that while they do need to complete their necessary admin work, their main job should be focused on providing an exceptional experience to everyone who walks through the doors. Empower them to create connections with patients and learn about their functional goals. At the end of the day, they should be another member of your team who can sell patients on their plan of care and keep them coming back to your clinic.
Always get patient information upfront and reverify it at each visit.
Back along the lines of administrative work, make sure your staff always obtains the patient’s contact, demographic and insurance information to verify eligibility and benefits prior to the initial evaluation. This equips the team with the information to follow payer rules for maximum reimbursements, avoid denials or rejections and collect patient responsibility at their appointment. Reverifying this information at each visit will also make for smooth claims submissions throughout their course of treatment.
Be proactive with patient collections at the front desk.
Patients experienced an 11% increase in average out-of-pocket costs during 2017. With that kind of increase, if you do not collect patient responsibility upfront, you are leaving a great deal of revenue on the table. Be proactive and inform patients about their out-of-pocket responsibilities and collect co-pays and balances at each visit before they start to stack up.
Looking for more on how your front desk can drive higher patient engagement and loyalty? Download this tip sheet today.Get Tip Sheet
Schedule appointments ahead so you aren’t looking at an empty waiting room.
Scheduling appointments ahead for the entire course of care is a great service for patients. It helps them plan ahead for their appointments and supports them in achieving their long-term treatment goals. Plus, keeping therapist’s schedules full is vital for a healthy bottom line. Once patients are scheduled for their appointments, reduce no shows and cancellations by providing email, phone and text reminders and enforcing a 24-hour notice of cancellation policy. Make sure you have a system and tools in place that allow you to schedule out an entire plan of care and remind your patients of any upcoming appointments.
At Clinicient, we believe it’s also infinitely important to know how to hire for your front desk. The traits to look for, must-ask interview questions and necessary skills to keep in mind are all important parts of making sure you don’t learn these lessons the hard way. Get more hiring tips with Jerry Durham in this blog.