A Day in the Life of an Effective Business Coordinator - Part 2
In my article last month, we discussed the hard work that is put in every morning by a trained and efficient business coordinator in your practice. To continue where we left off - it is now the afternoon. Your business coordinator, if she/he is lucky, takes 30-60 minutes for lunch. If you only have one employee in the front office, this person can’t leave for lunch until your last patient is dismissed, in most cases, because she/he needs to make the patient’s next appointment, collect money, or say “goodbye” with a smile.
TIP: If you are working a typical 8:00-5:00 day, your lunch hour would typically be from 1:00-2:00. This allows patients to visit during their lunch hour as well as give you a longer morning to be more productive. You have to admit that after you return from lunch, your motor typically doesn’t run as hard as it does in the morning and this is true for everyone. It also means that the restaurants are less busy!
Step 1. Check-in patients who have arrived for afternoon appointments. If there is a patient who has not arrived for their 2:00 appointment and it is now 2:06, calls are placed to the missing patient. “Hello Mrs. Jones. This is Susie at Dr. Brown’s office. I hope you are okay. We were expecting you at 2:00.”
Step 2. Submit any predeterminations that are necessary, including digital photos, intra-oral photos, radiographs and narratives. Follow up on any returned pre-D’s to schedule the patient.
TIP: Avoid sending pre-Ds unless absolutely necessary, or you need to protect the practice and confirm that the procedures will be covered. Example: 3-unit bridge to replace missing tooth.
I am not saying this happens in your office, but I often hear the clinical team or the doctor say to the patient, “We will be happy to file a predetermination to your insurance company!” Now why would you even plant that seed in the patient’s mind? You just gave them permission NOT to schedule their appointment today!
Step 3. If you process monthly credit card payments on a daily basis, this is a good time to do so, after all the patients are checked in and before you prepare the deposit for the day. There are some software programs available that will process these payments for you automatically.
Step 4. Call again for direct confirmations to those patients who have not responded to the text and email reminders for the next day. Always try to speak with the patient when possible, opposed to relying on leaving a message on the answering machine.
Step 5. “Dial for Dollars” for any openings tomorrow if the day is not scheduled to goal. If it is, review the following day. The hygienists should always be “scheduled to goal” for the next two weeks. Beyond two weeks, openings are necessary to have appointments available to reschedule or reactivate patients. When you are booked solid for six months, where are you going to put your new patients, the SRP patients, the past due patients and the reactivated patients? Nowhere…so don’t bother calling them, right? Wrong!
Step 6. Send out professional cleaning and perio maintenance recall notices to those patients with and without appointments. So many times I see offices send notices to patients with appointments to remind them, but not to patients without appointments!
Step 7. Start preparing the deposit at around 4:30 for small offices and 4:00 for larger offices so the business coordinator is ready to walk out the door at 5:15. Print the deposit reports that illustrate cash, check and credit card payments and balance with the credit card receipts, cash and checks in the drawer.
TIP: Some offices have found check scanners to be helpful in avoiding daily trips to the bank. However, if you have cash on a daily basis, you will need to go anyway if you want to more easily reconcile your bank statement with your computer software.
Step 7. Now it is time to reconcile the daily production charges with the correct provider by reviewing the Production Summary Report. This is to make sure that exams were posted to the doctor and not the hygienist and restorative procedures went to the doctor and not accidentally to a hygienist, etc. When there is more than one doctor or hygienist, it is even more important to confirm that the production was posted to the proper provider to determine if the daily goals were met.
Step 8. Walk out the door no later than 15 minutes after the last patient. Whatever didn’t get done will still be there in the morning.
These tasks don’t necessarily have to be performed in this order, and many of these tasks are repeated throughout the day. For all the business coordinators out there - your doctors couldn’t do it without you! Thank you for your dedication and hard work.
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