If your hospital or medical practice is struggling to receive payments in an effective manner, the problem may not be your patients’ or consumers’ willingness or ability to pay. It could be the effectiveness of your employee training process. Oftentimes, employees hired for other duties are eventually tasked with collections, and without the proper support and training, they’re being set up for failure.
If you’ve trained your team on proper debt collection techniques and are still experiencing lower-than-expected returns, chances are the greatest mistake in your employee training process is a lack of passion in your staff. Without passion, what drives employees to make sure patients properly understand their payment responsibilities?
Here are a few steps to help guide you in your training process and ultimately equip employees with the passion to do their job well:
Establish Clear Objectives
Make sure employees understand the why behind the process. Teach them the importance of a healthy revenue cycle for your business, your team, and your patients. Collecting money is a tough job, and without a good reason to do it, it’s a task your employees will dread.
Start by helping them understand everything you want your patients to understand after a collection call. We suggest creating a checklist of information and documents that must be discussed or provided. This checklist will help ensure your team leaves no stone unturned and that every patient is left clearly knowing what is expected of them financially.
Provide Tools for Success
The next step is education. It’s important to equip employees with knowledge of the general standards and procedures of paying so they can then relay them clearly to patients and answer a range of questions correctly. For example, do your employees know where to point an uninsured patient? Train them for a variety of scenarios, and the relational, decision-making, analytical, or technological skills they need to be successful communicators.
Most importantly, train them on the 8 steps for a successful collection call. Scripting their conversations will help take some of the awkwardness out of it for them, and ensure that your patients are getting all the information they need to make a payment.
Give Them Practice Opportunities
Practice makes perfect. Set up simulations for employees to perfect their speech. Coach employees through “what if” scenarios and help get comfortable with not giving any patient the opportunity to say “no” to a payment expectation. Make sure they become experts in providing an excellent patient experience and giving people close cost estimates.
Create a “Question Friendly” Environment
Are your employees comfortable asking you questions if they don’t understand their responsibility? This is especially important if employees encounter a difficult patron or an unfamiliar situation. Empower them to make decisions on behalf of your organization, but stand ready to help them when they need it.
Measure and Celebrate Success
This step may be the most important of all. You and your team need to be on the same page when it comes to goals and expectations. Are they meeting the goals you set? If not, you may need to look into re-training them to improve effectiveness. If they are, celebrate their hard work and continue to encourage them to be passionate about what they are doing. Passionate employees mean a better patient payment experience and ultimately a healthier bottom line.
If you could use a hand collecting more of your outstanding receivables from patients, contact Revco Solutions for help today.