The key to maximizing reimbursement and striving for healthcare payment lifecycle excellence is perfecting the patient access onboarding game. Patients present for treatment with an often limited understanding of their insurance coverage and plans, and sometimes confused ideas of the prior authorization process and their financial responsibilities in the end.
It’s up to us to help patients navigate the process and educate them to make solid, informed choices about their care. By leveraging real-time data, we can verify the patient’s insurance verification and benefits and collect their portion up front while also meeting our obligations in terms of prior authorizations.
Leveraging Data to Maximize Reimbursement
As healthcare consumerism continues to grow, patients are taking on more and more of the financial responsibility for their care. Technology and automation are allowing us to present more accurate and timely information to facilitate their financial contribution. It’s more important than ever that the business staff responsible for onboarding patients are equipped with the most accurate data, and that patient portions are collected upfront.
First Step – Insurance Verification and Benefits
The first step in this process is securing accurate and valid insurance and demographic information about the patient. By utilizing a transparent insurance verification and benefits eligibility automation package, your practice will be able to track and confirm precise patient coverage details in real-time while avoiding later denials due to ineligibility.
Utilizing a seamless integration or portal, front office and scheduling staff would be able to access an extensive payer clearinghouse of over 800 payers across the country to determine eligibility and benefits in real-time, including:
- the patient’s eligibility and dates of coverage,
- the primary or secondary insurance relationship
- co-pay and/or co-insurance due,
- annual deductible met and remaining, and
- any out-of-pocket maximums.
With the Infinx Insurance Verification package, emergent or problematic verifications would be handled by specialists in cases such as non-automated payers, etc.
Next, Collecting Patient Portions Due
Once the insurance information is determined, it is critical for overall practice financial health that all estimated patient portions due are collected before the time of service, if possible. Today’s consumer is conditioned to pay before receiving goods or services. Still, it is often the practice or hospital that neglects to ask for payment until the patient arrives or even after insurance has been paid.
With automated patient pay estimates, you would have the following:
- Real-time patient pay estimates
- The ability to incorporate provider fee schedules to determine accurate patient estimates based on current information
- Robust cost estimation logic that enables precise and immediate amounts due
With strong, well-defined financial policies in place, expert collections training for staff, and clear-cut automated estimates available, patient portions collected before the time of service no longer have to slowly wind their way to either payment (often several months post-visit) or collections. Additionally, giving patients automated payment options greatly increases payments – patient portals, apps, email notification, etc.
Last, Prior Authorizations
By automating your prior authorization process through an artificial intelligence (AI) driven software solution, most approvals can be obtained in real-time. Prior authorizations can now be initiated in near real-time, tracked, followed up, and resubmitted (if necessary) without human intervention in most cases.
What once took several hours to several weeks manually can now be accomplished in minutes (or seconds), and unusual outliers can be followed up by expert billing specialists.
Unbelievably, according to the latest CAQH Index, prior authorizations are only performed by automation in about 13% of healthcare facilities. This means a great number of practices and hospitals are spending unnecessary time and resources, not to mention patient frustration, managing a burdensome and redundant system leading to denials, and lost revenue.
Streamlining the entire front-end patient access process brings improvements to your bottom line, and your patients. Their experience improves when they know and understand both your financial policies and their obligations while having easy access to payment avenues.
Contact us to schedule a demo and improve your reimbursement—and don’t forget to explore our solutions for the various patient access processes.