Find out how your community can benefit from a well-crafted financial intake meeting and how to implement them in our latest blog.
Every skilled nursing community holds some type of facility tour where the patient and family meet key staff and see the layout of their temporary home. However, a key but often overlooked component of the facility tour is the financial intake meeting.
In this article, learn why the financial intake meeting should be a high-priority pre-admission item, as well as how to hold a meeting that supports the patient, family, and your facility’s bottom line.
What is a Financial Intake Meeting?
A financial intake meeting is when your facility’s billing department or Back Office Manager explains payer coverage and care and coverage scenarios to the patient, family, or responsible authority. It’s an opportunity to educate your residents about payer coverage and the cost of care, answer questions, and set expectations eventual payment.
How does a financial intake meeting help your cash flow?
No one likes a surprise bill. Even though patients know they need to pay for care, they won’t get a bill until after their stay ends. That’s why holding a financial intake meeting is a great way to establish expectations for patients and family right from the start. They’ll learn what care they’ll be receiving and for what cost. Doing so at the beginning means they’ll have a clear understanding of the costs associated with care and won’t be surprised when billing does come around. There will always be a few troublesome cases, but this a simple method to introduce people to billing and increase their likelihood of compliance.
How to structure the meeting
Talking about money, especially when it’s related to something as personal as healthcare, can be uncomfortable. However, with a clear and supportive structure, the financial intake meeting will feel more like an extension of your customer service experience rather than a conversation about billing.
Here are a few tips to make the meeting a success:
- Build the meeting into your facility tour. Whether it happens at the beginning, middle, or end, pick a specific point during the tour, and allocate enough time so neither you nor your patients or families feel rushed.
- Make an outline or loose script for the meeting: Make sure you’re covering all the key topics and that you feel comfortable explaining each topic to laypeople. Avoid jargon and acronyms and focus on making the information as accessible as possible.
- Field questions and develop an FAQ: Answer as many questions as you can and be prepared to follow-up with more information or answers if need be. Document everything you’ve shared, as well as commonly asked questions, so your patient can review after the meeting.
If improving your Patient Intake process and reaping benefits to your cash flow sounds good to you, start designing the meeting by understanding what information patients need and developing an FAQ list for staff to review. If you would like help implementing these meetings or with your Revenue Cycle Management more broadly, consider working with Quality Healthcare Resources. Contact us here if you’d like support.