Reprinted with permission from McKenzie Management.
It is the end of a long workday and you are ready to walk out the door. You say good-byeto Debbie at the front desk, who is busy finishing up her last-minute tasks before she is out the door as well. Have you ever asked yourself exactly what she does at the end of every day? My guess is no. Maybe you feel that it is her area of expertise and not for you to ask, especially if she has been doing these tasks for several years. I invite you to sit down with your “Debbie” and tell her that you recently read an article in the McKenzie e-newsletter about end-of-day tasks, and you just want to make sure that everything is being taken care of.
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Step 1— One hour prior to the time estimated for your last patient to walk out your door, Debbie should be starting to wrap up her day. A quick “print preview” of the report from your practice software that shows all the charges posted for the day and the provider that they were posted to should be analyzed to confirm that all the production was posted and to the correct provider. For example, check to see if any exams were accidentally posted to the hygienist instead of the doctor.
Step 2 — Confirm that all the electronic claims for the day have been submitted. Every software program has built-in reports that can be generated to confirm that patients with insurance plans and posted production had a claim generated. If unsure how to obtain this report, ask your software support person.
Step 3 — Avoid last-minute cancellations or broken appointments. Take a quick glance over tomorrow’s schedule to make sure that all appointments have been confirmed.
Step 4 — The routing forms should be printed and pertinent information should be highlighted to bring the information to the attention of the clinical team during the morning meeting. If you are still using paper records, the routing forms are simply inserted into the record. No need to take the time to attach them with paper clips. The paper clips end up all over the floor! Reviewing the routing forms is a very important step in the communication between team members. Not only does it explain what the patient is coming in for, but also reviews other family member’s recall status, any medical alerts, unused insurance benefits, financial concerns, referral information, etc.
Step 5 — Print a copy of the next day’s schedule for everyone attending the morning meeting. This gives the team a place to jot down notes as well as the opportunity to see what their day looks like. Even if your practice is “paperless,” there are still important “papers” that must be generated. As a result, you may be “chartless” but are far from “paperless.”
Step 6 — Now it is time to start preparing the deposit. All the cash and checks should be totaled and compared to the deposit report in the practice management software. If this doesn’t match, the discrepancy must be found and corrected. She then creates a report from the credit card service (either online or through the machine, depending on what type of service you are using) that lists all the credit card transactions made for the day. This total must balance with the computer’s credit card deposit. If it doesn’t, the discrepancy needs to be corrected.
The bank deposit is completed to illustrate the following: Total Checks, Total Cash, and Total. A copy of the bank deposit form goes in the envelope with the deposit and a copy stays in the bank deposit book. All the credit card slips that the patient has signed (and make sure that you have a copy of each one) are matched with the credit card reconciliation and the computer-generated credit card deposit. They should all be stapled together and placed somewhere safe (three-ringed notebook, etc.) in order to expedite the reconciliation of the bank statement. The envelope with the cash and checks is either taken to the bank by an employee or is given to the doctor to deposit. The cancelled bank deposit slip must be returned and stapled to the corresponding deposit slip in the deposit slip book to acknowledge that the deposit was made.
Step 7 — (alternative to step 5). Because patients may be making credit card payments at the end of the day, the deposit is prepared but not “closed” until the following morning to avoid having to spend additional time to complete the transactions before leaving. If this is preferable, this step must be performed before any transactions are entered into the computer.
I know you must be reading this thinking that this is what everyone does. I am here to tell you that this is NOT what everyone does. We have consulted with offices that never reconciled their cash, checks, and credit cards to their computer’s deposit. Credit card payments made by patients were never posted to their accounts, cash was taken and posted as checks, etc. Don’t let this happen to you!