Collecting Patient Balances

After our Series on First Impressions, I received a lot of comments asking me to cover other areas of the patient experience and organization.  I plan to use some of these thoughts to create videos in the coming weeks and months. 

David from California writes:  

“I think an important video would be to discuss what the best way is for the staff to present cash fees to a patient whether it be orthotics, local surgical procedure or collecting co-pays and deductibles.   

Do you recommend the office does it in the room in privacy?  What if the patient is standing at the front counter with other patients in the waiting room – is it okay to discuss fees there?” 

This week’s video covers some of the scenarios that David brings up and a role-playing exercise I did with one of our terrific patient services representatives.  He is an experienced employee who is both empathic, yet firm in his responsibility to collect patient balances.  He also has a million stories about how people behave and react to owing money. 

We rarely offer patients a private room to discuss their fees yet try to do it in as quiet and respectful a way as possible.  Additionally, the location and demographics of a particular office influences the way in which these conversations need to be approached. 

No matter what your location and demographics may be, you need to have policies, procedures and protocols in place.  Hiding from this uncomfortable aspect of medicine and business will only drain you of cash flow and ultimately negatively impact the patient care you can provide. 

Have a great week. 

Lowell 

P.S. I am not immune to technical difficulties and my microphone wasn’t working so please excuse the less than normal audio quality. 

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