A local community college was an unexpected source of help in improving cash collections at The Cooper Health System in Camden, NJ. Many hospital employees attend classes at the school.
“The revenue cycle team was mindful that there have been numerous times the college actually comes on site to conduct classes for hospital staff,” says Pamela Konowall, CHAM, assistant director of healthcare access.
Patient access leaders did some research and discovered that the college had a grant available. Faculty members were willing to provide point-of-service training sessions for registrars.
“The college’s Office of Customized Training developed the training to meet the needs of collectors per the specifications of the revenue cycle team,” says Konowall. The instructor had a healthcare and sales background. The requirement for these no-charge sessions was that a minimum of 15 people be enrolled.
“The idea was to give front-end collectors the whole picture,” says Konowall. “Topics from the evolution of the payment system to the evolvement of scripting were reviewed.”
In February 2016, the college’s faculty held eight training sessions for front-end staff at the hospital’s Central Business Office.
“Immediately following this training, front-end collectors were so excited, they were calling the access management team to report their successes,” says Konowall.
Registrars learned to build relationships with patients, use helpful phrases, and address common objections. One registrar excitedly reported making three successful collections. “She stated collecting was much easier than she first thought,” says Konowall.