e-MDs® Tips: How to Increase Revenue? Find a Fabulous Front Desk Person!
In the ever-changing world of medicine, one thing is certain. Increased reimbursement isn’t being passed out freely from payors. The question remains, how to increase revenue? As an independent practice, you need to get creative to maximize your collections and increase profitability. There are many things you can do. One of the things that is often overlooked is your front desk person. Let’s talk about why this is such a critical role.
- They are the face of your practice.
- They are usually the staff member that puts in demographic information.
- They handle large volume of monies on a daily basis.
- They are the face of your practice. When patients call to set up an appointment or are checking in when they arrive, the front desk staff is there. They either have smiles on their faces and greet patients warmly, or they are on their phones ignoring the patient. Or, perhaps it’s somewhere in between. Whatever the case, that person should exude what you want in terms of what your practice is all about. If you have a set of core values that you want them to strive toward, then you need to hire and terminate based on those core values. We have a blog post about Core Values here. In this world of social media, comments about everything from ice cream flavors to who should be voted out on the newest reality show are more than common. They have become a way of life. Much like small town gossip years ago, the internet is the source of reviews today. You can bet that if one of your patient’s has a poor experience with a front desk person (and that’s where most patient-staff conflict occurs) that it will get a mention on twitter, facebook, or some other social media platform. You can prevent that negativity by hiring someone in that position who fits your core values.
- Demographic information entry. Insurance reimbursement is a tricky business. That’s why so many offices outsource this specialized service. Before the first claim is ever sent, the patient’s information has to be put into the system. At an already busy front desk, this process is oftentimes rushed and inaccuracies develop. Just so we’re clear: **IF THE INSURANCE INFORMATION IS PUT IN INCORRECTLY, YOU WILL NOT GET PAID!! I can’t tell you how many times we go into practices and the demographic information is entered wrong. This generates instant denials and make your AR balloon. Have you looked at the diversity of insurance cards recently? Where’s the copay listed? What’s the group number? It’s never the same on two different cards. A good front desk person will be able to use experience and common sense to find out the details and get them entered correctly.
- Handling monies. The front desk person will handle your cash payments, checks, and credit card payments. There obviously has to be a lot of trust in that person (along with tight reconciliation processes). What are your current daily reconciliation procedures? Is there a double verification process? If you are hiring based on core values, that is certainly a great first step. Continual training is also a must. Constant vigilance is necessary by your management team to ensure success.
How do I find the right person? The front desk position is ultra critical on so many different levels. The person needs to be outgoing, yet detail oriented. Patient, yet able to multi-task. Business-like but empathetic. It’s difficult finding those kinds of traits in the same person. Solor offers basic personality assessments for your staff to help with this. Here’s a hiring process we recommend to our clients:
- Post your job on LinkedIn and other social media sites to find quality candidates. Make sure your job description is open about salary, benefits, and expectations.
- When you start receiving resumes, ask candidates to write a cover letter or core values statement. This will give you insight into who they are as a person as well as give you some ideas about their ability to communicate.
- Conduct a personality assessment. (Mentioned above) This is key. A particular personality style blend will make all the difference in the world.
- First interview (one person) No more than 45 minutes long
- Second interview after sorting through candidates (At least two interviewers including their potential direct supervisor)
- Background check
We encourage you not to overlook this important position from a salary standpoint as well as the need for retention of quality people.
If you have any questions on this, or any other billing issue while using the e-MDs® software, we’d be happy to help. Simply fill out the contact from below.
Solor is a specialized third party medical billing company for e-MDs® Practices. e-MDs® is a registered trademark of e-MDs Inc. e-MDs Inc. is not affiliated with Solor, Inc., our products, services, or website.