A few patient collection mistakes

It always starts with the collection of insufficient or inaccurate financial data. This is an ongoing complaint from the billing and collections department. I hear everything from "the schedulers didn't obtain the right information when they scheduled the visit" to "no one verified benefits" to "it's errors with data entry." All of these things are likely to lead to problem accounts and rising A/R, and may be an indication of a failure to provide employees with sufficient training, and a failure to monitor performance.

If your front-line staff is slipping, you can't ignore it. You must counsel them and provide additional training if necessary and hold each person accountable to a specific standard. It is also important to evaluate work flow — deciding what type of workload is reasonable for each person to manage, while producing quality output. This aspect of performance should count when it's time for annual performance reviews.

Garbage in, garbage out! Collecting accurate demographic and billing information should not be limited to new patients. Update patient information and insurance information at each visit. If a staff member fails to do this, hold him or her accountable.


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