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    To improve processes with patient collections, some MGMA members are hiring and training staff differently, using practice management software to calculate amounts collected and rewarding staff with incentives, as outlined in a new white paper released by Navicure, an MGMA Executive Partner.

    Changes to practice processes include the use of scripts as well as changes to when and where staff members talk with patients about copays and how staff members are rewarded for their efforts.

    Carmen Garringer, manager, practice operations, St. Vincent Sports Performance, Indianapolis, says collecting copays is most successful during check-in because every patient checks in but some go elsewhere in the facility for tests and others walk by the front desk on their way out because they don’t think they need to stop.

    Recognition

    Rewarding front-desk staff and key employees who collect copays, coinsurance and outstanding balances is also part of a new workflow for collections at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, a multispecialty medical group headquartered in Kingwood, Texas.

    Top collectors of patient debt and bad debt at the group can earn an additional $25 a week, which enables employees to earn as much as $100 extra a month for high performance, says Sherry Dade, ambulatory care administrator.

    In addition, those who collect the most each quarter are recognized by the vice president of operations, and the annual best-performers are honored at a luncheon attended by the medical directors, vice president of operations and all individual location directors.

    At St. Vincent, incentives are handled more informally. Individual practice locations hold internal competitions to see which member of the front-desk staff can collect the most money in patient balances and which individual locations collect the most, Garringer says. Rewards include gift cards and pizza parties.

    Metrics

    Tracking performance metrics is another key way to stay on top of collections, especially at practices with multiple sites, Dade says. Kelsey-Seybold holds monthly meetings to review collections performance for each practice site so Dade, physician partners and other practice leaders know where to emphasize additional collections training or resources. As their revised collections workflow shows success, practice leaders know where to prioritize rewards and kudos for improved effort.

    To learn more, download the white paper.


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