Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Q. I have a hard time finding experienced billing specialists. What should I look for in the interview process?
A. Finding the right staff to perform billing and collection is not an easy task. Most providers look for someone with previous HME experience, and when we find this person we feel like we hit the jackpot! To improve your odds of landing the best employee, here are a few things to keep in mind:
* Candidates should have stayed at least two to three years at previous jobs. The job hopper is often not going to be happy at your organization either. When interviewing, first focus in on what type of person they are and their skill sets. What are their ethics; how do they learn best; why have they left previous jobs; and what are their career goals? Look for traits that the candidate is a problem solver, investigative, intuitive and customer oriented. Typically, two interviews with two different interviewers are helpful to get a good read on someone. Let them know up front what your expectations are.
* Invoke pre-employment testing to understand reliability, personality traits, ability to follow direction, and general accuracy and math skills. If someone cannot perform basic functions, they most likely will not be able to do the job.
* Check references of previous employers. You'd be surprised at how many companies will still give you an honest reference. Background checks also help.
* Once you have hired the person, be prepared to give at least some formal training, and consider pairing your new employee with a mentor within your organization.
* Finally, allow up to six months for your new employee to get comfortable with what they are doing.
By investing in your recruitment and training processes, your company will reap the rewards of better results and, ultimately, lower turnover. hme
Lisa Bargmann is president of Bargmann Management LLC and Homecare Collection Service. Reach her at 440-225-8299.