Recently, the question of putting up signage in the ED to educate patients on point-of-service collections surfaced. There is a lot of debate over this topic and whether it violates EMTALA or should even be done in the first place. For the purposes of this blog, I will review a couple strategies when considering putting up collection signage in the ED.
Some believe collection signage sends mixed signals to patients. You must treat them regardless of their financial situation, but when people are screened they see a sign about paying. This might encourage patients with emergency needs to leave without being seen. Think about where you are placing the signage. I believe the best place for the signage would be at the exit doors so the patients see the signs prior to leaving as opposed to when they come in.
Training has been an alternative method to increasing point-of-service collections within the ED. Different strategies that we have seen around patient education for point-of-service ED collections are typically linked to providing more hands-on training to the registrars conducting the process. One organization I’ve observed supplied customer service training for the staff to equip them with the soft skills they need to have those difficult financial discussions. A focus was on how to convey the positive aspects of upfront collections to the patients to help them understand why organizations do this.
If you have any questions or other strategies for ED collections, please reach out by filling out the form below.