The end of the year is approaching, when many patients have fully paid their insurance deductibles. They often use this time to fit in any covered medical treatments and surgeries before the end of the year. It's natural to want to have a surgical procedure done in the last few months of the year when it is entirely covered by insurance, but it can overwhelm your ASC with patients trying to schedule at the last minute. Your staff will be fielding many phone calls, trying to maximize scheduling without impacting patient care, and coping with additional billing and insurance issues. Make sure your Ambulatory Surgery Center is prepared for the onslaught.
Make Sure Your Software System Works Seamlessly
Your staff will be grateful for any software systems that make the process of scheduling and registering patients more straightforward and more streamlined. At One Medical Passport, our integrative software system effortlessly moves from patient pre-registration to scheduling to patient tracking to recovery. Once patient information is entered, everyone from recovery staff to billing staff has instant access to needed information, reducing bottlenecks and ensuring the highest level of patient care even when surgeries are scheduled back-to-back. High volume procedures are not a problem when you’re using the right ASC scheduling and management software.
Foster a Positive Atmosphere
The staff at your ASC will be under additional stress during the last few months of the year. They cope with an influx of patients hoping to schedule surgeries before year’s end, a higher volume of procedures, the need to double-check every insurance claim to make sure deductibles have been met, and trying to get everything done around holiday schedules. Acknowledge their efforts and recognize that they are going the extra mile. It can be as simple as providing breakfast or lunch to your employees once or twice a week. Praise and appreciation at staff meetings are also important, as is fostering a supportive atmosphere that focuses on teamwork. Flexible scheduling and the addition of extra staff are also helpful.
Have a Proper Payment System in Place
Whether all costs are covered by insurance or specific fees or deductibles patients need to pay, having an easy-to-use, easy access payment system in place is critical during the end-of-year deductible boom. The less time your ASC staff has to spend on the phone tracking down payments, the more time they can spend on ensuring the office is running smoothly, and patients are getting the attention they deserve. Mnet Health offers state-of-the-art billing cycle and payment technologies to ASCs that include text-to-pay, mobile payment options, self-directed payment plans, financing options, and complete customer billing and payment support.
Consider Increasing Hours
Not all ASCs can expand their hours, but if it's feasible, consider the option of adding a few hours to the schedule each week for additional surgeries. To do so, be sure to offer overtime and incentives to employees who would like the extra hours. This can ease the load on staffers during regular hours, keep things from becoming too hectic, and ensure proper care and attention for all patients. If necessary, consider hiring temporary staff to assist with appropriate tasks.
The surgery boom at the end of the year can be a boon to your ASC if handled professionally and efficiently. Talk to your staff now to make sure everyone is aware of the potential for increased volume and address the situation with solutions that work for everyone.
Do you have any topics you'd like us to write about? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a single post.