The day is coming when insurance co-payments are a thing of the past and high deductible plans continue to force what for many is an uncomfortable conversation about payment for services.
The staff member caught right in the middle of this sweeping change is the person at the clinic’s front desk. The job requires much more than making positive first impressions and helping to put patients at ease. Today, the front desk person is also a key to the clinic’s profitability.
To manage change effectively, clinic administrators are busy implementing consistent training programs to set the front desk team up for successful patient conversations. What is the best way to set up training for these key members of our team? Here are a few starting points:
- 1. Build scripts for your team. Take the time to document the key questions that staff struggle to respond to, and write out how you ideally want them to respond.
- 2. Role play. Take a page from the sales book and practice, face-to-face. There is nothing more effective than role playing to help staff get comfortable with the hard discussions to come.
- 3. Lay out the steps and build a template for your team to follow. Make sure they check a patient in the same way, every time, and they have access to the patient’s billing information as part of this process.
- 4. Don’t expect; inspect. Audit the team’s success and challenges as you go. This can be done through observation as well as reporting tools in your Practice Management system to ensure the processes are being followed.
The best clinics are committed to a regular regimen of training, re-training and adjusting that training as payment models continue to morph.
One of HealthCo’s best customers, who runs a very tight ship, is now preparing to evolve their clinic’s policy to a “pay or reschedule” model for services. Imagine the challenge facing an untrained front desk person in this scenario. “Pay now, or reschedule,” is not an easy conversation to have with patients who need to see a doctor.
To learn more about how to effectively train your front desk staff, please join us for our free webinar on Tuesday, March 8th, at 10:00 a.m. (PST). When you do, you will hear directly from our featured panelists who have embraced formal training for their front desk staff and have seen tremendous business and patient satisfaction as a result.