Remember each office functions differently but here are some thoughts that may help things run a little smoother
1. Make sure that the staff is pleasant at all times.
2. Booking your appointments for the day should usually only include 2 – 3 new patients per day per doctor due to the amount of time required for these visits.
Please have the patient fill out all forms prior to arriving in office. If you do not wish to do that then if they have an appointment at 10:00 am, have them arrive at 9:30. Explain that there are forms to be completed and it could take 20 minutes or more and you would like them to see the doctor at their scheduled time. Remind them that it is their responsibility to bring their insurance cards, ID , and any referrals, films, reports etc.
If they don’t have the necessary documentation, ask them to either get copies or have the other office fax to your office prior to their appointment. Doing this gives the doctor the information he or she needs as a background for the patients visit and cuts down on calls made by your office to other offices when the doctor comes out of the room and asks the front desk to obtain the information right then. As we all know if you are handling 10 different things at the time, answering the phone, pulling charts, taking co-payments, the last thing you need is to now sit on the phone with several offices.
3. When entering information into the system make sure you are as accurate as possible. Remember you are the foundation for the accuracy of the system. Always double check the insurance information to make sure it is current.
4. Scan the insurance card as well as the referral and get some type of ID. A lot of the practices I have been in actually take photos of the patients and include in chart. With so many people out of work and not having insurance sometimes others will use someone else’s insurance. Should that happen to you having taken a photo and a copy of their license it removes any issues from the practice.
5. Insure that you take the co-payment prior to the patient being seen by the doctor, it is very expensive for the practice to send out a statement for patients for $10 and $20. This co-payment is the patients portion of paying for services. Remind them that their co-payment is due at time of service. Patients need to be educated as to how the practice is run.
6. Confirm appointments 48 hours in advance, not the night before. MyOnlinePractice automatically does this for you by sending them an email or an SMS. This gives them time to cancel if something came up or they forgot to call to cancel, and time for the office to rebook that time with another patient.
7. When the patient is checking out, give them their next appointment, and clarify any questions they may have.
8. Reconcile your co-payments against your money box prior to your going home and you turning in to your manager or billing staff (whoever is responsible for it at the end of the day). Insure that it is correct before you leave for the night.
9. Keep your work area clean as possible
10. Try to not eat or drink at the desk, and if you must do so, not where the patients can see the food or drink.
11. The good old golden rule applies, treat the patients how you would like to be treated, its nicer and easier to get through the day pleasantly.