How to Build a Dynamite Patient Access Services Team

Receptionist inputting insurance information into a computer
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The success of your medical office relies heavily on how well patient access services or the front-end staff performs. The cycle of a patient account originates with the initial entry of patient demographic information. Building a dynamite patient access team is a crucial step toward improving billing and collections efforts and increasing revenue cycle performance.

The reasons why most patient access services teams have a low-performance rate are largely due to the lack of proper resources, inadequate training, and insufficient staffing levels. Fortunately, these can be resolved quickly and without huge expenses.

Perform Daily Audits

Performing daily audits is your most valuable tool in the first phase of improving how well your patient access team performs. In the beginning, it will feel very tedious but this is the only way you can effectively determine what is negatively impacting your revenue cycle.

Before you begin, determine what your organization needs to focus on in terms of accuracy. The field of health care and the size of your organization make a difference in which areas you may emphasize. However, there are several things that should always be included:

  • Demographic information
  • Insurance information and verification
  • Admitting category and source code
  • Accident details
  • MSP questionnaire
  • Documents signed

Don't be afraid to include what you may seem as minor. You may want to include every entry field in your audit.

In addition to auditing account errors, make sure you also track what time of day those errors occurred and what staff members are making which errors. This information can give wonderful insight into what factors are contributing to inaccuracies. Are you understaffed at certain times of the day or certain days of the week? Is your staff handling too many responsibilities? Which duties or job functions may need to be redistributed?

Once you determine where your opportunities to improve are, you can begin to take steps to determine what plan of action to take.

Training and Development

Most employers have the best intentions of providing excellent training to new hires but sometimes the urgency of a fast-paced environment can lead to an underdeveloped staff.

Training should be a never-ending process. In the ever-changing field of healthcare, there is always something that can be presented or reintroduced to your staff. Your policies and procedures should be kept current based on industry changes. It is easier to implement and enforce if it is written in black and white.

Keep your patient access services staff informed by using the information gathered in your audits. Most employees continuously make errors in the same areas only because no one has corrected them. Not only aware them of what they are doing but why accuracy is so important.

Motivating Your Team

So now you have your patient access staff on their road to success. You've given them the tools and the training they need but that's not enough. The final key to building a dynamic team is motivation.

Motivated employees view their jobs seriously and take pride in knowing that they add value to the organization. The patient access team should be aware that what they do really matters. How well they perform every day determines how well the entire revenue cycle performs.

Evaluate your current management style. Are you doing what it takes to get maximum performance from your employees? Having a well-trained staff that is highly motivated equals a dynamite team.

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