Improving Collections and Boosting Patient Satisfaction through Patient Estimation

HITECH Answers | November 10, 2014

At the MGMA Annual Conference in October, Cindy Welch joined me in a presentation to talk about how she overcame challenges that virtually every practice faces today—including higher co-payments, HDHPs, uninsured patients, inaccurate insurance information, staff’s reluctance to ask patients for money, and patients’ reluctance to pay.

Cindy is the practice administrator at Golden Empire Cardiology in Bakersfield, CA, which leveraged ZirMed’s solutions to reduce days in Accounts Receivable from 51 to 24, increase collections by 20%, and improve both office efficiency and patient satisfaction. They trained staff to talk with patients about their financial responsibility and set accurate expectations before providing services, introduced a patient check-in concierge service, and implemented technology to automate the patient billing process and provide an upfront estimate prior to the appointment date.

According to Cindy, changing your results starts with changing how you think about patient collections—including the where, the when, and the how. You need to train your staff to be proactive and engage with patients, beginning well before they arrive for their appointments. Key points:

Remember—success depends on your staff. Make sure they understand what’s expected of them, include it in their job descriptions, and implement repercussions for non-collection and rewards for a job well done.

Start by teaching your staff rule number one: never ask a patient, “Would you like to pay?” Ask, “How would you like to pay?”

About the Author: Ric Sinclair is the Vice-President of product at ZirMed, a leading health information connectivity and management solutions company. In his role, Ric leads all aspects of product direction, management, design, and development.

Improving Collections and Boosting Patient Satisfaction through Patient Estimation

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