3 Essential Things CA’s Can Do to Reduce Stress at the Front Desk

Posted on February 13, 2020 by Holly Jensen

Learn these 3 Essential Tips that CA’s can do reduce stress in their daily jobs. As published in The Chiropractic Assistant Magazine February 2020 Issue

Let’s be real… sometimes being a CA can be pretty stressful. We are juggling many different tasks and doing our best to stay sane. How about those awkward financial conversations we have to have? Feeling the pressure of the line of patients at the front desk waiting to check out? Being frustrated about the lack of communication between the doctor, patient and your co-workers? Not to mention, one of the worst feelings is having patients that you know and love who just drop out of care. I could go on and on and I’m sure you could too.

As CA’s we are the literal backbone of a successful chiropractic office. This is why I’m excited to share with you 3 essential things CA’s can do that are very effective for reducing stress at the front desk. 

#1 – Put Patients On Care Plans
What is a care plan? A care plan is a reflection of the patient’s treatment plan. Care plans cover all of the care a patient will need during the treatment period. Care plans include insured and uninsured visits right from the beginning. Care plans are presented only after the patient accepts the treatment plan.

Care plans must be compliant and outline all of the patient’s financial responsibility to your office (services and fees are clearly itemized, compliant discounts are only applied to non-insured services and have a compliant Terms of Agreement, including how refunds are handled.) A care plan can be presented to the patient by the DC or the CA.

Benefits Of Care Plans

First of all, when you have patients on care plans there is no confusion between the patient or the office what the treatment protocol is or what the patient’s financial responsibilities are. A care plan is a reflection of the doctors’ treatment plan for that patient and will list out all of the services, products, fees and time frames in which the care will be provided. This means it’s clear to the patient and your office what the expectations are.

Putting patients on care plans will also help the patient to adhere to the course of care the doctor outlined for them in the Report of Findings. For example, when the patient knows from the very beginning they are expected to come into the office for care 40 visits over 6 months in order to reach the goals set for them, they don’t have to be constantly reminded.

Because the patients know and understand their financial responsibilities right from the beginning, there is no line of people waiting to check out at the front desk because you’ve handled it! When you see these patients you have more time to focus on patient care and education with them.

A side effect of care plans … increased patient retention and a dramatic increase in cash collections. A win-win all around! CLICK HERE to download a sample care plan

#2 Automate All Payments

Automated payments remove the biggest obstacle of continued care, which is the “repeated thought of money”. In order to prevent patients from dropping out of care, you have to identify and remove situations where a patient has to make the decision as to whether they continue care or not.

The more frequent a patient thinks about paying for care, the lower the retention. It’s not the money that’s an obstacle. It’s the fact that you routinely remind the patient of the money by asking them to open their wallet on each visit.

Think about it… your patient comes into the office for a visit. You greet them, make them feel special, care for them, they get their adjustment and come to the front desk and now have to touch their wallet to make a payment.

Imagine if you had already handled the finances because the patient is on an automated payment for their care plan. You would be able to engage in more conversation about office promotions, ask for referrals, patient education and more! How great would that feel to them and to you?

Let me tell you from experience that it feels great! When the patient is making monthly auto-debits towards their care plan you’ve essentially removed the “thought of money”. I recommend automating all payments…not just care plan payments.

Keep your patient’s billing information on file in a compliant manner and automate one-time payments too!

Here’s an example: Patient Brittany owes $60 for a support pillow. I would say to her, “Brittany, the total is $60. I’ll charge your card on file and email the receipt to you.”

My patient didn’t have to open her wallet! I can still focus on all of the other things that I need to do with her and I’ve made this process very convenient for her too.

A side effect of automated payments … increased patient retention and a dramatic increase in cash collections. Another win-win all around!

#3 Improve Patient Communication

Patients need to understand the value of the care they’re receiving in your office. It’s very important that you’re able to effectively communicate with them in a way that makes sense to them. Imagine at the patient’s initial Report of Findings and each progress exam the patient receives a progress report with a letter grade on it just like they got in school.

Imagine the doctor did an exam on the patient and performed a variety of tests. Most patients have no idea what the purpose of the tests is and don’t fully understand what it has to do with the complainant that brought them into the office…. so we do our best flood them with education.

When we communicate the initial exam and progress a patient is making with a letter grade, it just makes sense to them. It elicits an emotional response that has the patient naturally asking, “I’m got a D-? What do I have to do to get to an A?”

They just get it, and it is easy for us CA’s to help back up the doctor’s treatment plan recommendations to the patient. It also helps to keep the patient on the course of care because they know they have a goal of an ‘A’ to reach.

A side effect of improved patient communication …patients better understand the value of care and are quick to learn that the care being provided is more than managing symptoms and pain relief. This is surely going to help reduce patient drop-out and recalls!

As a CA we have a passion to serve the patients we see in practice and we want to work with the DC as a team to help change the lives of those we serve.

Have a weekly team meeting and incorporate these ideas into your practice to help reduce stress at the front desk and I’m sure it will spark ideas on how to streamline other areas of the practice for you to focus on. By freeing up time and reducing stress you’ll be able to put more fun into your practice.
About the author: Holly Jensen has served the chiropractic profession for 17+ years as a CA and Office Manager to Dr. Miles Bodzin, Founder & CEO of Cash Practice® Systems. For the past decade, she has served as a Professional Speaker and Chief Operations Officer for Cash Practice Systems where she has trained thousands of DC’s and CA’s on how to run a cash-based practice. Cash Practice Systems is the #1 Chiropractic Platform for Increasing Patient Loyalty. For more information, visit www.CashPractice.com. Holly may be contacted at 877-343-8950 or Holly@CashPractice.com


About the Author

Holly Jensen, the esteemed Chief Operations Officer of Cash Practice Systems, oversees a pioneering platform highly regarded in the chiropractic community for its unparalleled ability to boost revenue and retention rates. At its core are innovative tools like The Wellness Score, Care Plan Calculator, Auto-Debit, and Drip-Education Systems, meticulously crafted to aid doctors in enhancing patient retention and revenue. With unwavering commitment, Holly has been instrumental in solidifying Cash Practice Systems as the premier choice for chiropractors seeking practice optimization. Prior to her COO role, Holly collaborated with Dr. Miles Bodzin, CEO of Cash Practice Systems, in leading a highly successful wellness practice in San Diego, showcasing dedication to patient care. Together, they've dedicated over two decades to advancing chiropractic care, inspiring practitioners worldwide. Explore CashPractice.com for transformative tools.

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