Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Watch Your Step - May 2014 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 33 BUSINESS ADVISOR have to inflate charges to accepted rates just to get paid minimal contracted amounts. 2. Make collections someone's job. Designate a few staff members to handle patient accounts. Creating a solid team to handle patient accounting issues is key to establishing a sustainable system. We identified staff that were already knowledgeable in insurance billing procedures and that had a caring approach to patient finances. We wanted our staff to speak with a patient about the complexities of their insurance coverage and still convey caring for their financial and physical well-being. This team's responsibilities include checking insurance benefits pre-operatively, obtaining an out-of-pocket estimate based on the patient's benefits and historical insurance plan reimbursement information, and discussing those out-of-pocket estimates with patients. 3. Become an insurance expert. With insurance plans changing rapidly in today's marketplace, we placed 1 person in charge of monitoring those changes. Twitter feeds, blogs and subscriptions to industry newsfeeds such as America's Health Insurance Plans (ahip.org) give realtime updates regarding insurance plans and reimbursements. That designee also corresponds with our billing department weekly to monitor unexpectedly low reimbursements. Staying updated with current marketplace trends lets you adjust your approach rapidly to avoid losing money. 4. Talk to patients about their insurance coverage. We find that most patients are still unaware of all of the nuances of their health insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act has added new phrases to our vocabulary such as "narrow networks" and "managed care

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