Because your receptionist can make or break your managed care program, consider a non-entry-level employee for the position. The person at your front desk must have different qualities than in the past, including higher intelligence and attention to detail. So upgrade at least one front desk position to “Patient Account Representative” (PAR) to reflect the level of responsibility involved.
In addition to your managed care matrix, help your PAR capture all the necessary managed care information with a “cheat sheet” of items to be asked on a patient’s first visit. It’s the only reliable way even a very good PAR can remember all the questions about co-pays, deductibles, carve-outs and preauthorizations every time.
Learning too late that some services aren’t covered in a patient’s plan or that the patient was on a large deductible will result in significant dollar losses. Good collections simply require capturing full information up front. Instruct your PAR to do whatever it takes—even phoning a plan’s 800 number for each patient whenever the co-pay, deductible, etc., isn’t entirely clear. It’s that important.
Print the sheet on the back of your regular patient information form. Your PAR can fill it out right after taking care of the other intake information. If all answers aren’t available, he or she can call the plan or insurer right away to obtain it.
This piece was adapted from Getting Paid, from Advisory Publications. To order, click here or call their Customer Service Department at 800/650-6787.