When checking in at a hotel, what makes it so painless and easy? The fact you know when to show up and what is expected of you, probably. You told the hotel you would be there on the 12th, and they have a regular check-in time of after 3 pm which works for your schedule. Upon arrival, you tell them your name and give them your photo ID and credit card. You know this is so that they can verify your identity and get paid for the room you are about to use. They may ask to confirm how many nights you are staying, just to be sure, but that is all. Then you sign the paperwork saying you won’t destroy their property and that you authorize the hotel to charge your card, they hand over the room key and off you go!
Obviously, checking in at a medical clinic will rarely be as smooth as checking in at a hotel, but we could get close. In addition, our collections at the front desk should be just as good. The key is to set expectations for our customers. People coming to see their doctor expect to pay everywhere else they go – why not at the doctor’s office? Times have changed from when insurance companies “covered everything.” The current trend is now for them to cover “after deductible” instead. If we can educate and support patients with this new expectation, we will see smoother check-ins and an optimized revenue cycle.