Tips on How to Run Your Medical Front Desk Effectively
The front desk is a very important facet of your medical practice, and a friendly and efficient front desk staff leaves a positive impact on your patients. Medical receptionists are the first and last impression a patient has of your practice and can make a huge difference in
patient retention rate and new patient referrals.
- Do make sure your medical office staff greets each patient in a timely manner. Although the medical receptionists juggle so many things throughout the day, patients should always be greeted and checked in as quickly as possible. The more courteous the staff is, the more successful the medical practice is. Do not let a patient wait too long! If the providers are running extremely behind, make sure that the patient is aware of the delay, and reschedule appointments as necessary. Patients should not have to wait beyond a reasonable time.
- Do make sure that updated patient demographics and insurance information is obtained. Demographic updates should be completed on an annual basis and insurance cards should be copied or scanned every time a patient is seen. Do not let the patient leave without getting updated information! The front desk should be vigilant with patients who have not been seen in a long time. Easy-to-complete forms should be readily available for your front desk to give to your patients. If the medical billing staff does not have the most current information, then your insurance reimbursements will be delayed.
- Do make sure that the patient checks out with the front desk and that the encounter form is signed and dated by the patient or guardian. If copays were not collected at check-in, then they must be collected at check-out. Do not let the patient leave without paying their copay. The receptionist must be able to review account balances and remind the patient of past due balances. A designated in-house biller or your medical billing company should be readily accessible to discuss payment options and set up payment plans as needed.
- Do make sure that when the patient checks out, the front desk schedules the next appointment. Do not let your patient leave without a future appointment! This guarantees a practice with a busy schedule and positive cash flow.
- Do make sure that charges are not entered at the Front Desk! A medical biller should not be interrupted and should not have any distractions. Billers are directly responsible for insurance reimbursements, and practices cannot afford to have charges entered incorrectly.
Reassess your front desk procedures and implement these suggestions. We guarantee this will help your bottom line!
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