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Brag about your POS collection incentives
Like many improvements in patient access processes, increasing up-front collections is not as easy as it sounds. One way to facilitate this is by giving staff incentives.
Tammy Casados, patient access manager at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver, says that one of the department's accomplishments in 2009 was the implementation of an at-risk incentive program for associates, tied to point-of-service (POS) collections. The department also invested in estimation software, which allows associates to quote pricing to patients. This enables accurate up-front collections.
The program gives incentives to patient access staff to collect money for co-pays/co-insurance, deductibles, and uninsured patient portions. The goal is to offset bad debt and increase net revenue. For emergent patients, collections occur after the medical screening examination has been performed.
The facility has a department goal to reach 100% or more of the target collections, as opposed to individual goals. The financial counseling office, registration, central scheduling, and cashier offices all make a group effort for the incentive.
"We all work as a team to reach our target goal. The team can look daily at our front-end collections, posted by the central business office, and see where our numbers are," says Casados. "They'll push harder to collect so they can receive their monthly bonus."
Target dollar amounts are set for each point of service, including outpatient, emergency department, inpatient, and same-day surgery. "Each morning, we can check our front-end collections to see where our percentage is. Staff can see how many more dollars we need to meet our target for the month."
These guidelines are used for the program:
Goals are established as per approval from finance and senior leadership teams.
Payments will be paid to the eligible associates based on facility attainment of targets as previously established.
The plan pays on POS collections only. POS is defined as collections posted at zero through five days after discharge or registration.
Daily tracking of associate collections and metrics will be the responsibility of the patient access department.
Payments will be paid out monthly for each calendar month, on the pay period following the end of the previous month.
Payments will be based on productive hours worked in the previous month and paid as a percentage of those hours multiplied by the midpoint of the grade for which the associate is based.
The associate forfeits the total amount of payment award if he or she voluntarily or involuntarily leaves Centura for any reason prior to the payout for that respective month.
The associate must be in good standing with the organization (no written corrective action) in order to participate in that respective month's plan.
There is a maximum per person payout of $12,500 annually.
The minimum payout will be $25.
Payments will be paid and taxed according to IRS regulations.
Evaluation of the goals and targets will be done at least twice per fiscal year and may change/delete or modify eligibilities as necessary. If changes are made, advanced communication will be completed prior to implementation.
Target changes cannot be made at the entity level. Rather, all target changes should be done at the system level with approval from patient access directors and CFOs.
The front-end collection spreadsheet is broken down by point of service categories of outpatient, ED, inpatient, same-day surgery and online payments. "We also check daily if our front-end collection report payments posted to the wrong account," says Casados. "Invalid account numbers can be a pitfall. Correction needs to occur within five days for it to be posted towards our POS."
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