Medical Billing: A Costly Clerical Burden
Whether you’ve outsourced your medical billing and administrative needs to professionals or you’re doing it in house, one thing is for certain: medical billing can be a complex and confusing part of the total billing process. As such, it is a certainty that whoever is doing this work will be on the receiving end of many calls that are largely comprised of confused patients who have a lot of questions that need answering about their billing statements. The clerical burden of medical billing isn’t just limited to doing the actual billing and coding, those who perform this work must also expect to answer a lot of calls from patients who have a lot of questions or potential disputes at the ready. If you’re going to be on the phones, here are 3 tips we recommend to make for smoother sailing on the medical billing customer service seas.
- Give Direct Means of Call Back
This one can be difficult for large corporate offices, but for boutique-style businesses such as ours, we can provide a more personalized experience for patients with much more flexibility. Consider the experience of a patient who has been billed for far more than they anticipated and feel is correct, they explain the situation to a representative and the circumstances cannot be resolved in a single call or worse—the call gets dropped. Regardless, this patient is put in a situation where they must explain a medical billing issue more than a handful of times. If you’ve ever been in a situation such as this (you likely have), you know how frustrating it can be parroting the same story and explaining yourself over and over again for an issue that is not your fault. It helps a ton to be able to get back in touch with someone who will remember your circumstances and thus save time for everyone involved.
- Give Timely Follow-Up Calls
Building on our first point, when new developments or information comes through, you can bet a patient would like to know about it. Having potentially costly medical bills lying around is not doing anyone favors for their stress. Having the situation dealt with and all questions answered can be a load off the mind. As such, many patients are eager to hear back about any particular questions they had or if any changes had been made to their bills. Even if a resolution has not been met, if you have any new information that could better provide an outline for how long the process is going to take is better than leaving them in the dark. Uncertainty is the worst when it comes to many situations. A patient may not be happy about any improper billing or proper—or unexpectedly costly billing, but they’ll feel more respected and at ease if you’re showing initiative in contacting them and keeping them in the loop.
- Show Genuine Concern Towards Resolution
This is the golden rule of all customer service positions—don’t take things personally. You’re often seeing people at their worst when they are irate or yell at you. Many times, they’re stressed out and stretched thin, and some small problem such as the one they are calling about is the straw that broke the camel’s back. As long as you remain calm and understand that it’s okay to feel frustrated but it’s not in yours or the patient’s best interest to show that frustration. Not only will it not speed the process along, but it will make things that much more difficult. A little compassion goes a long way, try to be understanding of people’s problems. Many times when we lash out in anger or feel wronged, we end up sympathizing with the people that angered us as we learn more about their circumstances and the causes of their frustrations. As such, the heart of good customer service is patience and compassion.
Remote Medical Billing Customer Service and Office Support Services
The Psych Biller are your go-to experts on remote medical billing and office support. A lot of time, energy, and money are spent on in-house clerical needs that end up taking away from a clinic’s primary duty—to tend to patients and do medical work! Consider how much faster and efficient your clinic could be if you outsourced your administrative duties to professionals whose sole work is to handle these duties? It’s a great way to boost revenue by increasing patient output—in other words, less time tending to the red tape is more time to take additional patients. If you’d like to save money and make more of it, contact us here or give us a call at (800)-955-3461!