Dealing with Turnover on Your Billing Staff

The current high staff turnover rate in the US is often causing staff shortages and many other problems in the medical billing industry. One such problem is the increase in the scope of billing errors because hospitals, particularly in rural areas, are often forced to use inexperienced staff members. When an experienced staff member leaves, they leave with all of their knowledge of the organization and its systems. However bright the replacement is, it still takes time to get to the same level of expertise.

 

What can a hospital do to effectively deal with a high turnover among its billing staff? Here are a couple of useful tips. When applied, they’ll have a positive impact on your organization. 

Asking for feedback from departing staff membbers can be one of the best ways to find out exactly where things are going

Study the data.

Without analyzing the data, you will not be in a position to effectively address the problem of staff turnover. Study all the available records to find out why people are leaving, where they are leaving to, how long they have been with the company, and whether there’s a specific problem area. If there is, address it. Don’t let it sit, or the cycle will continue. 

Ask for feedback.

Don’t be squeamish about finding out the hard truth about why people are leaving the organization. Asking for feedback from departing staff members can be one of the best ways to find out exactly where things are going wrong, and why. It may be hard to hear, but acting on it could be the best thing you ever did. Once you know the biggest problems, it’s much easier to solve the issues. 

Make transparency your default policy.

Many healthcare organizations follow a need-to-know policy when it comes to informing staff members about their future plans. With this way of doing things, it usually turns out that the staff is always the last to find out about major changes that will drastically affect their workdays. This creates an atmosphere of distrust where rumors abound and people often resign simply because they no longer see a future for themselves at that particular employer.

 

This can be avoided completely with a culture of sharing and transparency with staff members. A poll conducted by TINYpulse recently found that when it comes to employee happiness, the number one factor is management transparency. Your team members are your best asset — treat them the way you’d like to be treated if you were in their shoes; being transparent is one way to do that. 

 

Make the integration process easy for newcomers.

A newcomer to your billing staff might have all the necessary qualifications and experience, but they probably won’t be familiar with the way your organization does things. Make sure someone specific is in charge of introducing the new appointee to your computer systems, coding procedures, billing practices, and anything else noteworthy for the position. Otherwise, you might have to repeat the same process again three months down the line.

 

A little focused training at the beginning can go a long way. Billers have a wealth of knowledge, and some have more experience with certain payers. Take advantage of your knowledgeable staff by cross-training the whole team, starting their first week. 

Keep two-way communication channels clear.

Good communication is crucial for the successful operation of any team. For example, when a new set of billing codes is introduced, there must be a clear system in place to make sure all the necessary information is communicated to everyone involved in a timeous manner.

 

Equally important is that the channels for feedback from the staff members involved should also remain open. It’s no use that your organization tries to implement a brilliant new system if the people who have to use it experience huge problems and have no way to make themselves heard at management level.

Outsource all — or part — of your billing department. 

Medical billing and coding can be confusing and complicated, as can all the training needed to help your staff do their jobs effectively. Outsourcing the whole billing department is certainly an option; it’s also possible to outsource only those sections where your organization does not have sufficiently skilled people, or where staff turnover is very high. This will improve the quality of your RCM and medical billing, and enable your organization to focus on its core business of providing quality healthcare.

Use Professional RCM Services to Improve Your Organization’s Billing And Collections

A happy team is generally a productive team, so give these tips a try and see if you notice an improvement. If you’re looking for a better way to handle the RCM process for your healthcare center, arrange a quick consultation with our team. We’ll see where you’re at and work together to determine the best way forward so you can turn your numbers around and achieve the success you deserve.