Should Front Desk Staff Handle Billing and Collections?

It’s common for the front desk staff of small outpatient practices to also be expected to manage billing and collections. And given the lack of adequate business training in the typical physical therapy curriculum, it’s certainly understandable why a practice owner would staff this way. On the surface, it seems to make economic sense.

Over the years, many practices that use Systems4PT for EMR, but have front desk employees manage billing and collection activity, shifted to have Systems4PT manage their billing and collections for them. These practices represent tens of millions of dollars of revenue.

To determine how the front desk managed collections compared to Systems4PT’s, we compared valid statistical samples of our users who manage their billing and collections against our users who allow us to manage their billing and collections activity. What happened when these practices outsourced their billing and collections activity to Systems4PT?

After 3 Months, Collections Were 26% Higher!

With Systems4PT now managing billing and collections for these practices, their collections per claim for the first 3 months averaged 26% higher versus what was collected by the front desk operator during the prior 12 months.

Impressive. But was this increase in collections simply “catch-up” of old AR? What was the long-term trend?

After 9 Months, Collections Were 19% Higher!

This increase does not mean front desk operators aren’t working hard to collect receivables. Instead, it is proof that they are already busy with their full-time jobs: onboarding new patients, verifying benefits, scheduling, providing customer service, coordinating the practice’s and therapists’ day-to-day activities, and collecting patient payments.

Collecting money from payers requires detailed analysis, long telephone hold times, and “taking-it-to-the-mat” arguments with those payers. In the average practice, there is no time for this, and patient service suffers when the front desk staff is tied to the phone.

Specifically, when Systems 4PT manages practice billing and collections, many more collection calls are made (we graph the rate of collection calls made on behalf of our customers). Our findings are relevant for every small practice.

For EVERY practice in our analysis, Systems 4PT increased collections by more than what we charged – and for less than the cost of hiring a biller.

Let’s talk about how S4PT can help your clinic get more!

Interested in a free demo of our products or business consultation tailored to your physical therapy clinic? Complete the form or call the number below today!

(814) 624–0084