Every morning I’m thankful to come into a non-complicated office with my hot cup of coffee and support a hard working sales team, who work tirelessly to provide education for those of you in the medical profession.
Is your job un-complicated? I’ll wait for you to stop laughing…with each passing month I see our clients and my friends who are in the medical field being spread so thin. It reminds me of the sandwiches my mom use to pack me in grade school – two slices of bread with a one paper thin piece of Land O’Frost lunchmeat. So thin, it didn’t get the job done!
Shifting rules and regulations, tighter budgets, and growing patient loads, makes me think something has to give. Can’t be security, that’s a costly gamble. Can’t be frontline staff who interact with your patients and drive that patient satisfaction number. I hope it’s not your clinical staff! And it definitely can’t be your revenue cycle; whether you’re a hospital or a clinic it’s imperative that you collect money, right?
In a recent webinar with Casey Williams, vice president of RevSpring, he said something that gave me pause…collecting payment is NOT taboo, yet there is some disdain when you hear people talk about “collections.” What a terrible but important job and one that has the highest turnover in a healthcare organization.
Healthcare costs for patients, can be confusing and they look to the administrative staff to provide a clear picture of what to expect.
According to the HFMA, ACA Patient Financial Communication Task Force Report, in regards to providing clarity to patients, “This helps patients engage in their healthcare and become active participants in resolving accounts.”
Okay, so where do you start? How about another quote?
Casey Williams says, “You lead a group of people that works for an organization that heals people, provides people hope, often dealing with individuals that are at some of the most critical points of their lives. Not only do you work for this organizations, but you work for it not for profit.”
Is there any other type of industry that does that? Just because it’s not for profit doesn’t mean you can’t be empowered and successful. Without a revenue stream you couldn’t provide the services that the public so desperately needs.
Your POS staff need to feel like they are a valued part of the team. Without their daily efforts, your organization couldn’t serve your patients. Start by setting payment expectations for your patients, this reduces friction when staff asks for payment. Frontline staff need to communicate payment responsibility and arrangements prior to service. Equally as important, the message must be consistent between clinical staff and frontline staff.
Invest in staff training. The most sophisticated collections software does not ask patients for payment, your people do. The process is as important as the payment, maybe even more so. Scripting that is compassionate, communicative, and clear provides a financial counseling service to patients, which is more effective than a robotic collections call.
Everyone needs purpose in their jobs and should be reminded that their role makes a difference. Clinical staff know their purpose, they chased advanced degrees to get there. But any well-oiled machine has multiple and imperative parts to make it work. Help all employees understand their impact.
Create a supportive and inspirational environment; passionate and appreciated individuals treat patients with appreciation and passion. A happy patient is one that not only pays, but returns and recommends your organization to their inner circle.
And finally, I’ll leave you with this quote by Dale Carnegie: “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.”