For the past 15 years, we have helped many practices get paid faster and with more accuracy. We've found some best practices and insider tips to help any practice improve their insurance reimbursement. Just to clarify, we're assuming that you already send your insurance claims electronically. If you're reading this, you probably found it on the Internet. Which means you already understand the value of the Internet on your practice.
In no particular order here are 5 ways to get claims paid quickly:
Get Serious about Tracking Claims
Make sure your clearinghouse offers a simple way to track your sent claims. You should verify that:
- Claims are received by the clearinghouse
- Claims are successfully processed and sent to the payer
- Additional payer requirements (like requests for more information, or attachments) are met
This may sound like a lot of work, but a good clearinghouse will automatically provide this information to you.
Ask for the EDI Department
Nothing is more maddening for a practice then to hear the words—we never received your claim. An office can see that the claim has obviously been sent and the clearinghouse has record of sending the claim, but you have to make sure you are speaking to the right people.
When you call an insurance company you usually speak with the customer service department. When they say they never received a claim, that may be true. Your claim may be held up in the payer's EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Department where the customer service department can't even see it yet. One easy trick is to ask to speak with the EDI department. This department makes sure the data has arrived safe and sound. They control the inflow and integrity of the information.
So by simply asking to be transferred to the right department, you will avoid a lot of frustration.
Set Up Direct Deposit
You already receive your paycheck this way, but your business has to wait for funds the old fashion way? You can do better by using the direct deposit options offered by most insurance companies. Some of our clients have experienced lightning fast claims reimbursement by using eClaims to deliver, and direct deposit to receive. Amazingly some offices have seen a complete turnaround from patient to paycheck in only 4 days! Admittedly, this is still the exception, but the concept is sound. Call your insurance specialist to enroll. It is absolutely the best way to get paid fast.
Take Time to Learn the Lingo and Read the Reports
Many practices mistakenly skip over important reports that are trying to tell you what you need to know. Out of desperation and a simple lack of understanding, billing professionals may be skipping over critical data. It's the classic example of being too busy driving to pull over and get gas—at some point it will catch up with you. It is important that you read and understand the information your billing partners are sending you. If reports just aren't making sense then consider the next step.
Keep Training Fresh and Consistent
Often someone becomes the office billing expert by being thrown into the position with little or no training. A simple way to avoid the training gap is to take advantage of free trainings offered.
Quality software, clearinghouse, and insurance partners offer refresher trainings for any new or fill in employees. This is a simple add on to ask for when purchasing your software or joining a clearinghouse.
You can also make sure the billing staff has adequate continuing education. People quit, get sick, or get overwhelmed, and often someone needs to step in to learn the ropes quickly. With such a menu of webinars and online content available, you can easily find something that matches your philosophy and refer back to it as the staff changes. The local chapter of your industry association can help you.
Use these tips to see how you can speed up reimbursement in your practice.