- October 17, 2017
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Uncategorized
If one of your patient make a call to your office enquiring about directions to reach your office, your receptionist is there to help them. If they have a concern regarding their medicines, your nurse is there to resolve the problem. If they visit the clinic with a symptom of a pesky cough asking whether a strep throat is causing the problem, then a physician is always there to answer their question.
However, what if that same patient calls to enquire about the charges mentioned on their last bill? In many practices, this type of call remains unresolved.
Though Unacceptable, But Very Common
Enquire your family and friends-it’s very likely that you will find several of them who could recall an unpleasant experience related to billing such as spending many months in getting an extra charge removed from a medical bill or fighting insurance denials that were inappropriate without any positive results.
If you allow your patients to become entangled in the process of your medical billing, you are very likely ruining the overall perception or image of your medical practice. Even if your patients have loved the treatment they have received from the doctors and nurses at your clinic; however, they got harassed at the time of billing, they are not going to talk positive about you or recommend your clinic to their family or friends.
In a survey performed by HealthCPA (a patient financial solutions firm), 81% of patients who took the survey reported frustration and anger with medical billing process. Furthermore, according to the reports of Association of Oncology Social Work, more than 50% of patients suffering from cancer say that dealing with medical billing process has a negative effect on their overall recovery process.
Put Someone to Help the Patient
To provide a solution to your patient’s troubles you should give them an ally who can guide them to navigate through the challenges put forward by medical billing. Certain clinical practices hire a person who serves as the clinic’s “financial advocate” and his duties are to help the patients understand their medical bills and health expenses both through health insurance and out-of-pocket. He also takes care of certain special issues such as auditing, filing or appealing for problem claims on request from the patient.
The least you can do is to appoint someone who can answer your patient’s questions related to medical billing. This “billing support rep” could be from your medical billing team or he could be a clerical staff who is knowledgeable and can perform the duty of a liaison between your outsourcing provider and your patients.
However, it’s just not enough to designate a staff for answering your patient’s concerns related to billing. Ensure that the remaining of your staff is equally equipped to handle the questions of your patients when your support rep or advocate is not available.
Your staff must be educated enough to answer at least 80% of the questions of your patients. Though some questions require that a specialized person should answer them, but majority of the questions are straightforward.
To ensure that your patients have a good experience with your practice, it is required that you respect, recognize and acknowledge the importance of all aspects of patient’s interaction with your clinic. Just as your clinic makes every effort to answer your patient’s every health related query, likewise, you should make efforts to answer their medical billing related calls. This will help improve your patient’s experience with your clinical practice.