It is important as an medical biller to learn how to deal with difficult clients. Clients can be patients who need to understand their health insurance or payers. The main difficult clients you will deal with are the ones who own money and refuse to pay, the irate client, and the one who can’t seem to understand anything you explain to them.
The Client Who Refuses to Pay- You cannot force someone to pay when doing accounts receivable. All you can do is to stay calm, explain the balance, and make pay arrangements. You can send the notices that your office is supposed to send and follow up with telephone calls. You can calmly explain the consequences of non payment. Other than that, there is not much that you can do. Always remain calm, give accurate information explaining as clearly as you can, and let the chips fall where they may. If the account goes to collections, you did all you could to prevent that from happening.
Dealing with Difficult Clients for Medical Billers
The Irate Client- If the client is in the office, take them to a private room. Use a calm voice. Smile. Show a willingness to do your best to work the issue out. Hear the client out completely without interrupting them. Repeat back to them what you hear the problem is. Then outline the steps you think will resolve the issue. See if this is amenable to the client. The follow through with the solution and stay in contact with the client during the process. If the client is a payer and is irate over the phone. Use a calm voice. Give the payer any information they request. If they need information quickly, fax it to them if you are able. Follow up with the client and always do what you say you will.
The “I can’t Understand” client- Take the client to a quiet place in the office. Sit down. Offer them water. Talk in a calm voice. Ascertain what they do not understand and why. Try to explain using simple words and language not medicalese. Break it down for them. Make notes as 1-2-3-4 so they know what they need to do. Have the client repeat back their understanding, and clear any confusion. Medical billing and insurance can be extremely confusing to the average citizen.
Remaining calm and non-reactive is key to calming an escalating office situation.
By: Dawn Moreno, PhD, CBCS, CMAA, MTC. Lives in the beautiful Southwest United States and has been an instructor for medical coding/billing for the past 7 years. Interested in quality medical billing training?
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