South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 26, 2019
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August 2011 - Volume 8 - Issue 2

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Creating a Great Practice/Patient Interface: The Easiest Way to Increase Patient Satisfaction and Minimize Patient A/R

Let’s face it, no one likes surprises.
 
Why then do most medical practices wait until the patient has been treated and left the office before informing them that the insurance company has rejected their claim and they (the patient) are now responsible for the financial obligation?
 
Nothing could be more backwards.
 
The patient doesn’t even get an estimate – they are simply called-in and for all they know, it could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
 
The patient has been given the impression that by joining a specific Healthcare or Insurance network their doctor belongs to, that they are covered. Your practice has now added to patient angst by saying, “Hey that’s your business, you figure it out.”
 
The net: a patient gets a bill from the doctor for the full amount post-procedure. As he or she leaves the appointment, they are asked to pay in full just in case the procedure isn’t covered.
 
Avoiding the pitfalls of such a situation is easy if you look at it from the patient’s perspective utilizing a full service approach. Make it easy for them and they will be your patient forever, and better yet, refer patients by the dozens.
 
Here are a few easy and immediate processes your practice can implement to improve patient satisfaction and practice profitability.
 
1. Make your patients feel important. Empower everyone in your practice to employ compassionate bedside manner.
 
2. Educate your practice personnel on the best ways to handle the “patient unknowns.” If you don’t know where to start, use patient surveys.
 
3. Keep appointments on schedule. If you’re late, keep patients informed.
 
4. Pre-certification follow-up is important it helps eliminate surprises.
 
5. Appoint an office employee to be responsible for online pre-authorizations before the patient’s appointment.
 
6. Offer patients an online alternative to filling out forms in the office.      
 
7. Use your website to help educate patients. Give patients access to information regarding their particular case so they can read it in advance.
 
8. Formalize and document your practice policies. This is the foundation of the future of your practice. This also builds equity in your practice with patients and employees alike.
 
9. Pay attention to details. Understand staffing and technology issues in your specialty.
 
10. If you don’t know where to start or don’t have the staff, begin by visiting www.crtmedical.com or calling me, David Doyle at (248) 679-1700. CRT Medical Systems has been in this business for over 30 years and we can help you develop a great practice, all while helping you do what you always wanted to do – be a great doctor.
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