Powerful Financial Arrangements
What is the purpose of a financial discussion?
A financial discussion will help the patient determine a plan to handle the cost of treatment in a way that will work for both the patient and the office. When performed successfully, a financial plan will help a patient get the treatment needed. It will also help an office develop financially viable payments with net collections that are equal to net production.
What is the role of the financial coordinator?
A good financial coordinator knows the importance of working with a patient and helping them find a way to get the treatment they need.
People often think that the role of the financial coordinator is to “get the money” and that the only way to do this is to be business-like and matter-of-fact about the cost of treatment. This is not true!
A good financial coordinator will build a relationship with the patient, will partner with the patient, and is willing to work hard WITH them to help them find a way to pay for necessary treatment. A good financial coordinator also understands that the patient NEEDS this treatment and that, if they don’t get the treatment now, things will get worse.
Where is the best place to have this discussion?
Make sure that you have discussions about finances in a private area where team members, the doctor, and other patients cannot hear. People will be more honest and open in a private setting, and you will be better able to help them find a solution.
Best Tips and Practices for Financial Arrangements
Remember: It’s About the Patient’s Health
Always keep your focus on the fact that getting this treatment is important for a patient’s health and well-being. This is something that they truly need. If your intention is to help them to get what they need, you will not come across as pushy or only caring about the money.
Work WITH the Patient
Financial coordinators are usually fast to offer third-party financing without finding out if the patient has some money to put down or what the patient’s payment needs are. It is better to take $2,000 in cash and only finance $2,500 than to pay the fees for the full $4,500. Remember to ask the patient how much they are able to pay towards the cost of their treatment.
Give Them Space When Needed
If a patient says that they need to talk to a spouse before they can commit to treatment and a financial plan, offer to give them a private place to talk and a telephone.
Let them know that either you or the doctor would be happy to help them explain the medical need for the treatment and how it is going to change how you feel.
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So, WHY is employee engagement so important?
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