Is your Patient Accounts Receivable out of control? Do you need a better process to collect what is due from your patients in a timely manner? Implementing a staff incentive program for your practice could be your solution.
Your medical team is the face of your practice. They are the first people patients encounter when they walk in the door, they are the ones answering the phones, and they are the ones who ultimately affect your daily operations and your bottom line. Ensuring your staff feels valued and rewarded for their hard work can impact not only employee satisfaction, but also employee performance. Staff members often are motivated on their own to help patients but offering monthly financial incentives can make them even more eager to do a great job.
A performance incentive plan is an ongoing financial incentive to reward employees for excelling in their role. An incentive plan can be designed for, and implemented in, any practice – no matter the size. The objective is to change the behavior of your staff to perform at higher levels when collecting money that is rightfully owed to your practice.
Establishing a program that clearly links incentive payouts to specific goals will eliminate confusion and show that rewards are based on measurable results. Staff should understand that it is an incentive that must be earned. Because all employees play an important role in the success of your practice, everyone should be included in the incentive program. This gives staff a sense of ownership in the practice. The incentive payout is linked to financial performance, it has value and can be measured.
It goes without saying that identifying your primary goal is one of the most important elements of a staff incentive program and will ensure everyone is working towards the same outcome. Your goal should be:
- Related to the practice’s financial performance – the practice must be hitting their budgeted targets before incentive payouts occur
- Clear and concise
- Easily measured and reported – suggestions may include a percentage of incremental overall collections or a share of increased co-pay collections
- Transparent and communicated to staff via a written document
- Relevant to individual performance – staff must know how their performance affects progress toward achieving the objective
- Rewarded when achieved – when the goal is reached, there should be a payout to all staff; if you exceed the objective, there should be a higher payout
In a successful performance incentive plan, all staff must perform to higher levels in order to achieve the identified goal and reap the financial benefits. When executed correctly, practices should experience a win-win situation with improved financial performance and motivated, happy staff.