As a practice manager it is highly important to cross train your employees. “Cross Train? Huh, Why? Susie knows how to run the front desk, she is not a biller.” In the Sentinel Health Blog titled “Who’s On the Front Lines?” it was revealed that a front desk person can set the tone for an office. That person on the front lines is, most of the time, the same person who has to also say “Mrs. Smith you have a balance on your account, would you like to pay it today?” We all know the next question(s) from Mrs. Smith. “Why do I have a balance? Didn’t my insurance pay? My insurance always pays everything. You didn’t bill it correctly!”
“SOUND THE ALARMS I HAVE A NONPAYER!!” Subsequently the tone changes. The patient has a right to ask about their bill; unfortunately, if Susie isn’t trained to go into the computer and understand why there is a balance, she is not going to be able to convey this correctly to Mrs. Smith, which could cause uncertainty from the patient.
Ring Ring… Susie has to answer a phone call and Mrs. Smith is waiting. The uncertainty is rising. The next stop for that patient is the examining room where she will, no doubt, tell the provider her side of what is wrong with the billing in this office.
Ask not what your company can do for you BUT what you can do for your company.
Take some time out of your schedule and set up training between the two departments. The more the front desk knows, the more confident he/she can be when speaking with the patients regarding balances. It also is a confidence builder for taking deductibles and copays and explaining benefits to patients.
Can I get a WITNESS!
In return, it is always a good idea to have a biller or even the practice manager sit up front. Hey, we probably all started there at some point in our careers. The benefit of this is to see what the front desk person does on a daily basis. Are there any areas that could help that front desk person’s job be more efficient? Do we need another person to assist?
I can guarantee happy employees are more of an advantage to your office than those that bicker and talk behind each other’s backs. Be the practice manager that can jump in anywhere and who can train an exceptional office. It won’t go unnoticed by the provider, patients or staff.
Here is a crucial tidbit to get you started:
Most Common sayings and definitions from www.healthcare.gov
Deductible: The amount you owe for covered health services before your health insurance or plan begins to pay. For example, if your deductible is $1000, your plan won’t pay anything until you have met your $1000 deductible for covered health care services subject to the deductible.
Co-Insurance: Your share of the costs of a covered health care service, calculated as a percent (for example, 20%) of the allowed amount for the service. You pay coinsurance plus any deductibles you owe. For example, if the health insurance or plan’s allowed amount for an office visit is $100 and you’ve met your deductible, your coinsurance payment of 20% would be $20. The health insurance or plan pays the rest of the allowed amount.
Co-Payment: A fixed amount (for example, $15) you pay for a covered health care service, usually when you get the service. The amount can vary by the type of covered health care service.
Out of Pocket Costs and Maximum: Your expenses for Medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance. Out of pocket costs include deductible, co-insurance, copayments for covered services plus all costs for services that aren’t covered. Customarily, once you reach your Out of Pocket Maximum the insurance will start paying claims at 100%.
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