13 Apr Mistakes Your Front Desk Staff are Making

We expect a lot out of our front desk staff.  They are true multi-taskers.  Because there is a great variety of critical tasks these individuals must perform daily to keep the office running smoothly, sometimes important tasks are not performed as you might expect.  The key is to ensure your staff know specifically what is expected of them and to hold them accountable for their performance.  Here are a few examples:


Your front desk staff are not asking for the total balance due from patients


  • Your staff are probably very good at collecting copays when patients come in to the office, but are the always following up on the total balance the patient owes to the practice? Many people do not enjoy asking others for money.  Ensure this is getting done by reviewing your patient list at the end of the day and asking, if a balance was not collected, why was it not collected.  Was the patient unable to pay?  Did the patient leave their wallet in the car?  Or did the staff member fail to ask for the balance?  Once you begin asking about this regularly, staff will understand they are going to be held accountable for performing this important task.


Your front desk staff are not verifying benefits before the patient visits


  • It can be hard to verify benefits information for every patient before they come in for their visit, especially if you allow walk-in appointments in your office. However, this is a critical first step to ensure you are reimbursed for the services you provide to your patients.  Make sure your front desk staff have a system of reviewing benefits information at least a couple of days before the patient’s scheduled appointment.  If they are not able to electronically verify benefits, ensure that they understand how to reach out to the insurance company via phone or online to obtain this information.  They should also be making sure that the patient is eligible to see the physician they are scheduled with in accordance with the practice’s insurance agreements, and that they are participating with the patient’s insurance.


Your front desk staff are not asking for insurance cards throughout the year


  • It is the case that the beginning of the year brings the heaviest volume of changes to patient insurance information. But, do your front desk staff regularly request to see patients’ insurance cards?  People change jobs mid-year which brings changes in their benefits.  Sending claims to the wrong insurance company slows down your cash flow.  Ensure you are sending out clean claims from the start that are destined for the correct location.


Please stay tuned for our white paper detailing front desk best practices, along with some great tools that you can implement in your practice.

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