Doesn’t everyone want to receive their money faster? If you’re an office manager, how great would it be to tell your boss you’ve figured out how to turn around insurance payments within a week? If you’re a dentist, how would you like to hear these words?
Technology has made it possible to get claims to the insurance companies faster, which means you get your money faster. And it doesn’t end with claims — get on board with direct deposit and take it a step further. I wasn’t paid by any of these companies; rather, they are my favorite methods of making my life as an office manager much easier.
1. Are you still mailing attachments? Stop right now! — My favorite is National Electronic Attachment, Inc. Every time I use this program I get giddy, and depending on the day, it might be the highlight. It allows users to attach anything that shows up on thier computer screen and attach it to the claim. NO. MORE. PRINTING.
Every year the list of participating providers gets longer, and I’ve run across very few insurance companies that don’t allow electronic attachments. If you get correspondence from the company stating they didn’t receive the attachment or required documentation, NEA attaches a unique number to each claim. They take that number, log into their end of NEA, and find the corresponding attachment.
2. A better clearinghouse — You’ve heard this saying before, but this is one of those things where it really counts — You get what you pay for.
Did you know that some clearinghouses might actually be printing those electronic claims and then mailing them to the insurance company? Why wait until the claim gets to the insurance company to find out the subscriber ID is wrong or is missing information? OneMind Health offers a variety of products, but their first is claims submission and real-time benefits, eligibility, and pre-estimates. The beautiful screen allows users to easily track every claim, and it won’t let someone send anything until it has all the required information.
3. Direct deposit — This is the cheapest way to get your money faster, and it won’t cost you a thing! Set up a separate account that is linked to your main checking account. The OM in the office will need access to the account in order to track deposits that are made from the insurance company. Once the deposits are accounted for, you can just transfer money into the main account.
If you don’t separate the accounts, it might be messy to look at. Sometimes the insurance companies will make a bulk deposit, but sometimes they don’t.
This list isn’t a complete revenue cycle solutions, but you will see a difference immediately. The skill set of your staff, your goals, and how you train your staff also play a role into how quickly you turn production into collections. Use the technology that’s available to you and reap the benefits!
Bridget Fay works at Battlefield Dental of Fredericksburg, and is a consultant at Odyssey Management.