Interested in getting paid faster? Focus your training on the front desk.

Jason Porter

High deductible plans continue to force what for many is an uncomfortable conversation about payment for services, and the day is coming when insurance co-payments are a thing of the past.

The staff member caught in the middle of this sweeping change is the person at the clinic’s front desk. This is because the job at the front desk requires much more than making positive first impressions and helping to put patients at ease. Today, the front desk person is also a key player in the clinic’s profitability.

To manage this change effectively, clinic administrators are implementing consistent training programs to set the front desk team up for successful patient conversations.

What is the best way to develop training for these key members of our team? Here are a few ways to start:

  1. Build scripts.Take the time to document key questions that your staff struggles to respond to, and write out how you want them to respond.
  2. Role play.Take a page from the sales book and practice face-to-face interactions. Nothing is more effective than role playing to help staff get comfortable with the hard discussions and situations to come.
  3. Lay out the steps and build a template for your team to follow.Make sure they check-in a patient the same way, every time, and that they have access to the patient’s billing information as part of this process.
  4. Don’t expect; inspect.Audit the team’s successes and challenges as you go. This can be done through observation as well as reporting tools in your practice management system to ensure the defined processes are being followed.

The best clinics are committed to a regular regimen of training and re-training, and are also willing to adjust trainings as payment models continue to morph.

One of HealthCo’s best customers who runs a very tight ship, is now preparing to evolve their clinic’s policy to a “pay or reschedule” model for services. Imagine the challenge facing an untrained front desk person in this scenario. “Pay now or reschedule,” is not an easy conversation to have with patients who need to see a doctor.

To learn more about how to effectively train your front desk staff, review our slide deck from our recent webinar on the topic.  When you do, you will learn from our featured panelists who have embraced formal training for their front desk staff and have seen tremendous improvement in their business results and patient satisfaction.


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