New Patient Coordinator: Part 1

Could incorporating a NPC improve efficiency in your practice?

First, take a look at your current situation.

  • How much (what) information is being collected upon new patient appointment scheduling?
  • Are we capturing the true “reason for visit” or multiple complaints?
  • Are we using this information to check eligibility and benefit (E&B) information?
  • Are we communicating E&B findings to patients ahead of their visit to prepare them for monies which will be owed at time of service (copays, deductibles, carve-out coverage)
  • Are we effectively persuading our new and new established (not seen in 3 years or more) to complete paperwork ahead of time and to arrive prepared 
    • picture ID, insurance card(s), medication list, referrals in place, accepted method of payment, toenail polish removed, etc.
  • Are patients actually completing and submitting intake paperwork ahead of their visit via secure email or by utilizing your EHR portal?
  • If not, are they arriving at least 30 minutes ahead of their appointment time to complete paperwork and sign financial and privacy policies?
  • If a new patient arrives on or about their appointment time with no completed paperwork, how is this affecting the rest of your schedule?
  • Have you ever done a time study to calculate average wait time or time in treatment room for the most commonly treated conditions? 
  • Do you reschedule new patients who arrive on time but are unprepared or late?
  • Are new patients who miss or cancel more than two appointments allowed to keep rescheduling?
  • Are referring providers being updated on the status of mutual patients in a timely manner?

Take a moment to thoughtfully consider these questions. Look for Part Two of this article which will discuss the responsibilities and benefits of NPC’s as they relate to the questions (and your answers) above.

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