Practice Management: 5 Must-Dos for Efficient Medical Receptionists

Health Insurance Companies Process 1 in 5 Claims Wrong

Tips on How to Run Your Medical Front Desk Effectively

medical-receptionist-front-desk-medical-practiceThe 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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17 Responses to “Practice Management: 5 Must-Dos for Efficient Medical Receptionists”

  1. I want to find the right medical practice. It makes sense that I would want to find one that has an efficient front desk! That way I can ensure that it doesn’t take too long for me to get written in.

  2. I really appreciate that you mentioned having medical clinic front desk personnel scheduling your next appointment right before you leave. Not only would this give patients the impression that you care, but this would also be a good sign that they are excited to see you for follow up. Mom would sure appreciate having her next visit scheduled as early as the last appointment so she could have this prioritized in her schedule. She could really be busy and being reminded of her medical clinic appointment is a big plus factor when choosing a doctor.

  3. My sister is a receptionist in a hospital and she wants to be more efficient at her job to be promoted next year. It was suggested here that she should greet each patient as soon they as they check in. Furthermore, it’s best to consult professionals when considering trying a medical office administration program.

  4. NIce article Manny, medical receptionist should be also have pleasing personality or put some light make up.

    • Jacky, thank you for taking the time to read my practice management tips post and leave a comment. Much appreciated.

  5. I think that all the advice you shared here about what to do in order to be an effective medical receptionist is a must-read for all those in the profession. It is interesting how you mention that they should be greeting those who come into the office as soon as possible to make things easier for the clients. My sister works at a dental office and she says that it makes a huge difference when you have someone that is super friendly at the front of the office welcoming people in. Thanks again!

  6. Great read Manny, always looking for extra ways to be more efficient around the office.

  7. Gottseidank gibt es den in . Mal kurz raus zum Briefkasten, und schon war die Tür ins Schloss gefallen. Mein Vermieter der Ferienwohnung war nicht erreichbar wegen eines Zweitschlüssels, aber die Firma konnte mir aus der Situation heraushelfen. Die 80 Euro für die Öffnung habe ich gerne bezahlt, es war für den Fachmann eine einfache Geschichte und dem Fußballabend steht nichts mehr im Weg. Vielen Dank Hr. .

  8. I appreciate your tip to make sure that medical billing isn’t done at the front desk because of the likelihood of many distractions. I remember my mom worked as a biller at a medical center and she needed to be as focused as possible in order to properly bill the patients. I’ve heard many medical centers are hiring companies to do bulk billing for them; is that true?

    • Yes, outsourcing the medical billing to experts has been growing a lot over the past several years. With all the rules and regulations it is harder for small to medium and even larger practices to keep up with all the changes in healthcare billing.

  9. This is all really helpful! I go to a medical office school and I shared this with other people in my class. It’s a great post. Keep them coming!



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