Front Desk skills are no more seen as just scheduling appointments and handing out forms. The Front Desk , at most medical practices today, has a very vital and prominent role to play. With the changing health care reforms and variety of insurance plans that come with different kinds of patients, the Front Desk practitioners face more challenges than ever and consequently affects medical billing and revenue collection management processes. No longer is their work just restricted to their warmth and hospitality to patients who come in, but now they need to involve themselves with patients further by explaining the ever complex health plan terms to patients.
Before the Affordable Care Act came into being, the Front Desk collections were mostly limited to copays. The Front Desk job was a straightforward matter - Front Desk just checked the amount on the patient’s insurance card and collected it. Given that the amounts due were small, even if copay collection was not perfect, practices still made a marginal profit.
The scenario after the ACA health reform changed all the above. Now, the number and type of health plans patients can participate in has increased. Moreover, the revenue mix for practices has changed dramatically, as health plans increasingly require patients to share in the costs of their care. An ineffective collection at the time of service now puts profitability of the practice at risk.
How can Optometrists bring change and increase their revenue? It all starts at the Front Desk. Here are a few ways in which your Front Desk service can enable an increase in the revenue margins of profitability
Delegating responsibility that is a combination of administrative, clinical and marketing best practices to the Front Desk, coupled with better technology to scheduling patients, verification of insurance eligibility and improving the recall process, will go a long way in your Front Desk bring in revenues and being a productive asset to your practice.