Your billing process begins at the scheduling stage. Since the scheduling stage is the first point of contact, it is the first opportunity to assemble the needed data for the billing stage, if the information isn’t collected or accurate, then there will be no way to bill. Your staff need to be aware of all the information they are required to collect from the patients. Usually it helps to have a checklist for the staff to follow to ensure all patient information is collected. It is imperative that the staff collect as much information as possible in this initial phone call. Taking the time to take down patient demographics and insurance can save time, allowing for better accuracy.
Additionally, any existing patients’ information should be checked and verified at the time of their call. Confirming existing patients’ info and that insurance has not changed will prevent issues during the billing process. Before your staff finishes the call with the patient ensure they gather all their current contact information, concerns, insurance information and then proceed to provide them with any pre-visit paperwork. It is important that your staff explains what the patient needs to bring to the appointment, and the potential copay or payment that is expected at the time of the appointment. Here may be a great opportunity to ask the patient for credit card information to put on file to allow for easy billing for co-pays. This not only can be a convenience for the patient, but a safety for your practice to ensure there is one way to collect payment. If the patient does not wish to provide the information over the phone, be sure to include a section in their pre-visit paperwork where they can provide this information.