Front office employees are responsible for many important tasks within your organization. Not only are they the first and last people your patients have contact with, but they are also responsible for collecting crucial information for insurance claims and medical bill collections processes. With proper training and preparation for front desk staff, your hospital or practice will run more efficiently.
Demographic and insurance verification are key.
One of the most important tasks for front office employees is verifying patients’ demographic information. This should be done every time a patient comes in for services in order to prevent claims denials due to outdated or incorrect data.
Insurance information, on the other hand, should be collected at the time of scheduling so that coverage, benefits and eligibility can all be verified ahead of time. Outsourcing this task to revenue cycle partners can ensure insurance eligibility gets verified no less than 24 hours before a scheduled appointment. If a patient is not covered for certain procedures – or at all for any services at your facility – they should be notified prior to their appointment so that they can either reschedule or be prepared to provide payment at the time of service.
Establish a policy and stick to it.
Once patients understand that their payment or co-payment is due at the time of service, they should be adequately prepared for subsequent visits. Try to follow your financial policy guidelines as closely as possible to prevent conflicts. It might reflect badly on your organization, for example, if you allow one patient to call their payment in later but deny services to another for having forgotten their credit card at home.
Training goes a long way.
Have your staff go through collections and patient account management training in order to understand the overall importance of each task they perform and how it affects your patient experience and satisfaction. If employees have a good grasp of their responsibilities in the medical bill collections process and understand why certain information needs to be collected, they will be less likely to leave out crucial steps.
Front desk staff can also benefit from training on interaction with sick patients. Employees should keep in mind that patients who are ill require a different type of treatment than someone who is healthy. Employees should do their best to emit patience, kindness and understanding 100 percent of the time.This information is not to be construed as legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Although we attempt to provide up-to-date information, laws and regulations often change. We make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of this document. For legal advice, please consult an attorney.