For the next few months we will focus on anesthesia.
Anesthesia is a most unique specialty in many ways. From patient registration to claim payment, it’s unlike any other. Because anesthesia typically doesn’t see patient demographic information until after the procedure, you need to work quickly once you have received the information, whether electronic or paper.
Invest in the manpower it takes to:
- verify the insurance information given (policy #, insurance carrier, insured’s name and date of birth, etc.)
- check deductible (We always recommend holding the anesthesia claim until deductible has been met, of course, keeping timely filing in mind.)
- verify patient mailing address
- check for outstanding balances
If procedure is elective (total joint replacement, gastric bypass, etc.), contact the patient two days after surgery to give the name of your anesthesia group to advise them of your policies and procedures. Let them know you’ll be glad to file their insurance, making sure the insurance company has paid all they were obligated to pay, before sending a bill for their balance.
Once the carrier has made payment, call the patient to let them know their balance and see how they want to pay the balance. We find many times they will pay right then over the telephone. If not, help them arrange a payment plan. We have found this process very effective and recommend it to all practices.
If the patient’s demographic indicates self pay, contact them immediately to determine if this information is correct and either arrange a payment plan, or hopefully, obtain insurance information not given at time of admission
Time spent prior to claims filing is well worth the effort.
Next month we’ll cover self-pay cases…