Healthcare providers have one of the most complex payment cycles. One would think that most would simply outsource the lockbox function to a service provider or financial institution (FI). Unfortunately, FI’s struggle in many ways to sell medical lockbox processing. But why?
Many of the FI’s officers are not hunter sales people. They are account managers who farm a territory. Convincing a provider to outsource their entire operation, or switch from another is a major decision which involves a strong business case as well as long-term strategy. Account managers (AM) are used to visiting accounts, chatting about customer service and managing a relationship. They don’t have highly compensated sales programs which motivates the AM to have a strong, sometimes uncomfortable sales closing process.
To support the account managers in their efforts to contract additional healthcare providers, provide them with support in the following ways:
- Teach them to listen to the pains of the provider.
- Don’t generalize “revenue cycle management”. Understand the multiple levels of primary, secondary and multiple insurance submissions and how it relates to denials management.
- Provide a technical sales support resource who can communicate how EDI claim (837) files are managed and matched against EOB’s and EDI (835) payment files.
- Know the business case to communicate tangible and intangible benefits.
- Provide a formal proposal so the client knows the FI is serious.
- Take a sales course on negotiations and closing sales.
Know the Advantages of a Medical Lockbox
Bank marketing and sales people should know the workflow well enough to articulate benefits. Knowing that the lockbox collects checks and invoices from the PO Box, scans the documents, balances payments against invoice amounts, deposits the check payments into a provider’s accounts and archives supporting documents should be second nature.
At first glance, medical lockboxes may seem to be an expensive solution for receivables management. However, once a practice begins an in depth analysis of check processing, the costs typically prove to be reasonable. Advantages of a medical lockbox include:
- Quick deposit of funds (more funds available for overnight account sweeps)
- Shortened receivables collection
- Potential reduction of employee fraud
- Savings of employee time in making bank runs
- Money deposited daily irrespective of absences or office closure
Help the sales and marketing efforts with resources and information! Additional support is many times also available by technology partners who provide these services to financial institutions.