by Monica Patrick, studioD |
A medical front office is a busy intersection where health care workers and patients interact. This atmosphere is often fast-paced and requires an eye for detailed record keeping. If your small-business is responsible for staffing a medical office or you own a medical management business, it’s important to understand the requirements of the front desk staff. Knowing the front desk duties will help you to meet the needs of industrious medical professionals.
The front desk staff greets incoming patients, directing them in person or by phone to the proper areas. When greeting in person, the front desk staff will give a precursory assessment of incoming patients. If patients are bleeding or exuding other bodily fluids, they may lead them to a private area to await more detailed assessments. Front desk workers also greet professionals such as pharmaceutical representatives or consulting doctors. The medical receptionist is also responsible for keeping the flow of patients moving smoothly and maintaining a neat front area.
Collecting Patient Information
A patient’s statistical information may change between visits. The front desk staff verifies the patient’s current address, phone number and allergy information. Regular insurance verification may also be necessary. Front desk staff will need to locate, review and update paper and computer files for the physician. Some other duties are collecting electronic medical records and laboratory results.
Billing and Coding
One of the most important duties of the front desk medical worker is billing and coding. Collecting copayments and processing insurance claims are also duties for front desk help. Some medical businesses collect up front while others collect fees after the services are rendered. Medical coding requires assigning specific costs to the correct medical procedures. Medical professionals and insurance companies use codes to qualify costs.
Another important front desk duty is making follow-up appointments. Many patients need continuing care and require regular appointments with their physician. The medical office assistant reviews the schedule, locating an appointment date according to the time period recommended by the physician. Also, front desk office help assists the patients when they need appointments for referred specialists, surgery or hospital procedures. These tasks require proactive efforts and a helpful attitude.
Minor Office Equipment Usage
Medical office assistants in the front office must be able to operate a fax machine, copier, label printer and multi-line phone systems. They should have a working knowledge of basic computer systems and be able to navigate the office’s computer network. Minor office maintenance such as loading printer paper and changing toners may also be necessary.