Business operations: List, prioritize, then engage

Q. How does company culture impact collection results?
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Friday, December 21, 2018

A. Today, there is an urgency to improve patient collections. You have thoughtfully created your collection policy and procedures to meet your goals. Now what? Two keys to success that cannot be found in a written policy are:  Your staff and culture.

Assume you have the best employees. Culture can be the X-Factor that accelerates collections.  Culture is the beliefs, assumptions and attitudes that guide what’s acceptable behavior and what’s not. When you hear, “That’s how we we’ve always done it,” that’s your culture talking.  When you create a culture that supports your policy and procedures, you will optimize staff efficiency and recovery results.

These five steps will help you get started:

Continuously communicate your collection policy and procedures. Establish accountability at every level.

Realize that culture has a huge impact on results.

Engage your staff. Identify the changes in culture that will support your goals. This is time-consuming, but well worth the effort. What actions should stop, what actions should start and what actions should be continued to reach your goals? Also, focus on attitude and personal-interaction protocols, which can make a huge difference in fostering a cohesive team and positive company representatives.

List and prioritize the changes and engage your staff to implement them.

Monitor, measure and encourage. Offer positive reinforcement, such as “Caught in the Act” recognition.  Create short-term wins. Review each employee’s adherence and contribution to the culture during your regular one-on-one meetings.    

When completed, employees should be able to explain, “My job is to do X and here’s how I do it.”  This helps demonstrate how individual daily actions help achieve the company’s bottom line.