Avoid These Five Reasons that Front-Desk Collections Fail

Avoid These Five Reasons that Front-Desk Collections Fail
Healio ⋅ Orthopedics Today – October 2017

by Karen Zupko, President

With the number of patients who have high-deductible health plans that are climbing even higher, many practices are moving toward an up-front, point-of-service collections model. Our firm has advocated this for decades. When front-desk collections are implemented correctly, we see significant increases in daily revenue and a reduction in accounts receivable of more than 90 days old.

However, when implementation is not executed well, we find that the initiative often fails, and staff returns to collecting copays and telling patients they’ll be billed after insurance pays.

Here are five common reasons for front-desk collection failure, and how to avoid them:

1. Vague rules, no procedures

The amount to collect varies by payor and patient type, benefit level and service provided. If you don’t provide staff with granular rules about what to collect from each type of patient, don’t be surprised if they don’t ask for payment at all.

Create clear rules and procedures. First, define the amount collected and how it varies whether a patient is covered by a contracted plan vs. Medicare vs. out of network vs. uninsured vs. has a high-deductible health plan. All the amounts in these situations could be different.

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