Are you struggling to find the right people for your front office? Do you constantly have to remind your front office staff how to get patients scheduled, showing up, and paying their bill?
Are you frustrated over your staff’s lack of confidence, motivation, and know-how?
What are the titles you use for your front office staff? Do you use receptionist, medical receptionist, or front desk representative as the main title?
How about the person in charge of all your insurance handling and collections? Do you call them the medical billing specialist, coding specialist, or billing representative?
If so, you could be attracting the wrong people for the position, leading to frustration and lost time hiring, training, retraining….and hiring again…when they don’t work out.
For those who know me, you know that I love to look up words to have a better understanding of the meaning behind the word.
Here’s the definition of the word receptionist:
A person employed in an office or other establishment to answer the telephone, deal with clients, and greet visitors.
Here’s the definition of representative:
A person chosen or appointed to act or speak for another or others, in particular.
When someone applies for a job, the first thing they see in the job ad is the title of the position. The title you give a front office position will determine who applies for the job. And if you hire a receptionist or a representative, you will get exactly what you’re asking for!
Let’s take a look at a few common front office job titles and what they could mean to someone looking for a position:
- Receptionist: answers phone, routes calls, welcomes and greets clients
- Medical Receptionist: Works in a medical office – does the same as ‘receptionist’ only with patients
- Front Desk Rep: Sits at the front desk
- Biller: Sends bills – this doesn’t even indicate that they’re responsible for collecting what’s due…
- Coding and Billing Rep: understands insurance coding, sends claims
What’s missing from the titles listed above?
They don’t define the expectations you have of your front office.
Someone applying for a receptionist position in a business or medical office will likely think their primary duty is answering the phones and interacting with whoever is on the phone.
Someone who applies for the job of biller or coding and billing rep may have the perception that they will be sending bills and claims and properly coding for payment.
With each of these, the one missing thing is that they don’t describe or even come close to describing what someone has to ‘do’ in their position to get their product.
About five years ago, I got sick of interviewing people who couldn’t, wouldn’t, AND who were not willing to do the job I was hiring for. I felt like I was wasting a TON of time and money trying to find the “right” people for the position. While I didn’t mind investing time in the recruiting and hiring process, I didn’t want to waste it on people I was never going to hire.
We needed a complete recruiting and hiring program that weeded out those who didn’t fit the position and brought higher-quality applicants into my inbox. When I created this program, it removed people just looking for a “J-O-B” and helped me find potential hires that wanted to work with me.
This program significantly cut down on unwilling candidates, as well as lost time and money that comes from hiring people who only want to do a small part of what you need them to do in exchange for their salary.
To begin this process, I established a set way of doing things – from the ads we post, the process that continuously weeds out people who might be problematic if we hired them, and by using specific job titles for the front office staff. I offer this training program to private practice owners. One of the first things I have them do is define the position’s responsibilities AND create a title that describes what is expected.
What are the responsibilities of our front office staff?
If they’re in direct contact with patients, they need to consistently get their product – which, by the way, is ‘people helped.’
To achieve their product, they’re constantly managing patients’ schedules: ensuring patients are scheduled for their plan of care, that they’re showing up as scheduled, they’re paying their bills, and so on. This isn’t a stagnant job position. It requires constant movement, interaction, planning, coordination, organization, and efficiency.
So, what would be a good title to call this position?
When we made all our changes, we started using ‘Patient Care Coordinator’ for our front office staff.
Here’s the definition of coordinator:
A person whose job is to organize events or activities and negotiate with others to ensure they work together effectively.
What do you think now?
Does ‘coordinator’ make it clear that there are high expectations, and does the title ‘Patient Care Coordinator’ provide a better description of the front office position?
Patient Care Coordinator makes it clear that we mean business. It demonstrates that we aren’t going to let someone sit around and just answer the phones, but instead, we expect them to coordinate our patients’ care constantly. Defining the title made sense and also narrowed down the people applying for the position.
Now, how about using ‘Medical Billing Coordinator’ for the person who’s in charge of everything related to billing? What do you think about that one? Does it make it clear that they’re not just “checking insurance benefits” or “filing claims”?
Again, this is a SUPER important position. By making what we needed clear, we decreased the number of applicants that wouldn’t work like we needed them to!
To build a better front office for your practice, you must start with staff members who are interested, motivated, and willing to learn and take action each day.
I offer my recruiting and hiring program as a 1:1 course and coaching program for practice owners and managers. It’s also a bonus for practices that sign up for my Basic Patient Care Coordinator Program.
My goal is to help you implement consistent action, identify your needs, weed out those who aren’t a good fit, and help you build a strong team. Your front office team will help you achieve your dream, your mission, and meet your values without YOU having to be the one to do it all.
Want to learn more? You can schedule a Discovery Call here to learn more.
Don’t waste time recreating the wheel – schedule your free call and start building a better team today.
Wishing you the best, today and always!