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Front Desk Staff Has Key Role in Managing Practice Cash Flow

Tips to implement include verification of insurance status, collection at time of service, ease of payment

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Three steps that can be implemented by front desk staff can help increase practices' cash flow, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

Noting that many practices struggle to collect payment for services during a patient's visit, the article provides three procedures for independent practices to implement in order to increase practice cash flow.

According to the article, some practices are skipping the important step of verifying a patient's insurance status at or prior to an appointment. It is important to find out if the patient has coverage, whether they have a deductible, and if it has been met (ideally, obtaining the deductible balance). Secondly, front desk staff members are perfectly placed for discussing issues relating to collecting payment from new patients and outstanding bills for returning patients. Scripting and training should be provided for staff members to help them know what to say, how to ask for payment, and how to provide answers. Finally, it is important that medical bills are made easy to pay. Health care practices should accept credit or debit cards, payments over the phone, online via a portal, via monthly billing, or by check.

"All of these ideas can be implemented without investing in much more than staff time," according to the article. "Your cash flow should increase and your bad debt decrease, which can help shorten your revenue cycle."

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