Liability insurance can become a medical billing nightmare if not handled correctly. Often when a patient comes in as a result of an accident, the patient’s liability insurance is not accurately captured or recorded. Many times, the patient may not have the information available when they come in. In other instances, this info may not be recorded by the office or hospital at all. As a result, this missing information translates into claims that never see the light of day, balances written off, and revenue ultimately lost. This does not need to be the case! Here are a few ways your practice can capture the liability revenue that’s slipping through your fingers.
Recognize the nature of the situation.
Accidents are not planned. Unlike most procedures where patients can prepare all the necessary documentation for a visit ahead of time, accidents occur out of the blue. It is going to be much less likely that patients will be able to easily retrieve their liability insurance information on the day of the accident. Furthermore, patients and their families are likely to be stressed and upset following a traumatic event. This presents a difficult situation for discussing financial issues. However, this does not mean that the effort should stop there. Medicalcodingnews.org suggests training staff to broach the subject in an organic and empathetic manner.
Now is better than later.
While it may be tempting to put the conversation off until it comes time to bill the patient, this will work against you. This is especially true if you wait until after receiving a denial from commercial insurance. Collecting the information about the accident while it is still fresh in mind is always a better course of action. Train staff to weave questions about insurance and liability coverage into the ‘why’s and ‘how’s of the accident. This will ensure the most accurate information. In addition, it will also provide a natural jumping off point for financial questions.
Emphasize the positives.
Denials adversely impact both the provider and the patient. Therefore, it’s helpful to highlight the importance of collecting accurate coordination of benefits information from square one. Sending claims to the appropriate primary carrier may reduce patient responsibility and future frustration. If the patient does not have their liability insurance information on hand, emphasize the benefits of providing that information in a timely manner.
Establish an automated system.
While an empathetic, person-to-person approach is necessary in some cases, it can also be beneficial to invest in IT solutions for asking the right questions. Flowcharts and decision trees can make liability insurance questions easier for both patients and staff. Simplify the process by breaking it down to straightforward questions. “Was this injury the result of an accident” or “Did the injury occur at work?” are excellent ways to begin a tree of questions that will lead to accurate data collection. With an automated system, the relevant information will be recorded into a database from the start. This will make researching the life of a claim that much easier.
In the healthcare industry, far too many claims are written off for COB issues. A small amount of extra effort at the beginning of the process will more than pay off when claims do not needlessly deny. By implementing a system of getting the information in a timely fashion, both provider and patients will get the most out of what liability insurance has to offer.
Disclaimer: The materials contained on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. Advanced Medical Practice Management does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site.