As we all know, the healthcare industry is going through some major changes. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, practices moving to Electronic Medical Records, and the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will impact all providers in the upcoming months.
It is extremely crucial that providers stay abreast of these changes, especially since many patients will be changing their healthcare plans- whether it’s changes to their current plans or changes through the ACA exchange. For providers, we recommend your front desk agent be proactive about checking patients’ information so that proper information is received each time, preventing delays and any cash flow issues.
Here are a few tips to ensure your staff is checking the correct patient information:
- Appointment reminder calls and new patient calls: please remind patients to bring current insurance cards and copays with them to their visit.
- If a patient is checking in and has updated information for you, please make sure that they complete a new patient information form and be sure to make a copy of their insurance card.
- Make applicable changes to your practice management system so that everything is up to date.
- With the upcoming changes, you could see higher copays and more deductible plans. Please make sure to check each patient’s co-pay and ask if it is a deductible plan so that you accurately note their account.
- Make sure your patients understand your practice’s financial policy regarding patient balances. We recommend drafting a document about your policy and having each patient sign it.
- Always double check to be sure that the patient’s name is registered to your practice management system. Check the spelling of their name on the insurance card! This is especially important for Medicare and Medicaid patients; if a name does not match, it could result in a denial.
- Get into the habit of repeating the address and insurance you have on file for each patient. Sometimes, patients receive new insurance cards and forget to let providers know.
We hope these tips help you have a smoother transition with the upcoming changes! Stay tuned to our blog and our newsletters for more tips on how to successfully integrate these changes into your practice. If you have any questions about this information, please don’t hesitate to call us at (203) 294-6659.