Preventive care is the best kind of care, but sometimes it can be hard for a patient to act on it. They may not trust their doctor to do anything if they don't have a specific complaint except for generic tests, or they may not feel confident in talking about Preventive measures, especially if they feel fine and aren't sure if their insurance will cover it. Every insurer (both government and private) has their own policies and the amount of denials and delays can be quite debilitating to a practice. Therefore, there are some changes which should be employed in every medical practice to ensure payment for the work that's being done.
First Things First - Patient Demographic
Before you start work on a patient, their insurance and demographic information needs to be perfect otherwise the claim is likely to be delayed. It's common that busy offices overlook this because of the intense workload on everyone's plate, but there needs to be a clear procedure ingrained in everyone so that the questions and scrutiny of information such as street-name changes, etc is automatic. Request the number of the insurer from the patient for the most reliable source as to whether or not the insurance is active at the time of service or whether or not the procedure is covered. This can cut down on your billing woes immensely. Keep the patient in the loop if something does go wrong, and be ready to explain it all in layman's terms.
Practices to Promote Preventive Care
People are naturally overwhelmed by how much there is to know about their bodies. Even doctor's can't handle it all which is why we invented specialties. In the advent of technology, there is a lot of information out there, but sometimes it just inspires fear rather than empowers people to do what's best for themselves. Preventive care is good for patients because can catch issues when they're small and easily dealt with, and it's good for doctors because it's an untapped source of revenue. If patients have the means to get free procedures done which are already covered by insurance, then there's no reason not to take advantage of it.
One simple thing you can do is to set up an algorithm which sends out automated reminders to patients, either by email or by voicemail. Spell out for them in clear language that if they have a certain type of insurance, then they should schedule an appointment today to get tested for common ailments that might befall their age group. Remind them of how important screenings are, and that the check-up will be completely covered by insurance. This way they won't worry about out-of-pocket costs, which is likely the reason they haven't scheduled the appointment already. Front Desk people should be train and made aware of all the preventive measures they should talk to patients whenever their interact either via phone or in person.
You should see an increase in your revenue after this, and patient satisfaction will also go up since you're taking the time out to give them valuable information about their insurance plan that they don't have the time to find on their own.
A Versatile Solution
These tactics can be applied to all types of practices, be they large, small or specialty-specific to increase their revenue. Your medical practice should be prepared to handle the influx of appointments with capable doctors who can ask the right questions. Obviously you don't want to run batteries of tests if they aren't necessary, but there should be every effort made to detect early-stage problems with proper equipment and a trained eye. Patients won't want to come back if they feel like all that matters is their insurance information, so there is a line you'll have to tread in order to keep patient retention as well as obtain the payments you need.
Call us today at 770-666-0470 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how M-Scribe can help train your front desk people and increase your medical practice revenue.