How to Reduce Insurance Eligibility Training Time at Your Practice
By Chloe From Clearwave | October 9, 2023
Verifying patient insurance eligibility is a critical yet often cumbersome process for healthcare practices. Between time-consuming manual phone calls, patient care, and keeping staff trained on each complex step, it’s easy for this vital task to become a bottleneck. By embracing automation, practices can reduce insurance verification burdens, speed up workflows, improve revenue and enhance patient satisfaction. Keep reading to learn some of the key benefits of implementing automated eligibility verification and how real-time solutions can transform insurance headaches into streamlined success!
Manual Verification Costs Money & Increases Training Time
Insurance eligibility verification is a vital part of the patient intake process, but manual verification can eat up staff time. For larger practices of all sizes, substantial time and money must be invested in to train and educate staff on how to verify insurance and search on payer websites to determine patient responsibility. In some cases, staff must understand when to reach out to patients and how to get accurate insurance data from payers. There is also a learning curve for new hires who need to be trained on existing insurance verification workflows
The complexity of insurance benefit verification leads to a long training process for new hires, which can hinder revenue, as patients come in every day. If your staff are bogged down training new hires or those new hires take too long to verify insurance, you reduce your likelihood of collecting once a patient arrives. At the same time, human errors will be more likely to occur as greener staff verify insurance and upload patient data. Considering your probability of collecting once a patient leaves the office is 30% and 86% of mistakes made in the healthcare industry are administrative errors — getting your staff trained and confident in verifying insurance quickly and correctly is key to increasing collections and reducing claims rejections.
When eligibility checks rely on manual workflows, the entire intake process gets slowed down. Patients are left waiting while staff make calls to verify their coverage. Staff may not be able to collect co-pays and deductibles due uncertainty around what’s owed.
Furthermore, staff may collect too little or too much due to uncertainty, increasing the need for refunds or causing staff to have to chase down patients later on, sending bills. The natural patient reaction to these complications is frustration and this process leads to significant costs down the line. It’s often more costly than profitable to collect copays after the fact, chasing down $25-80 here or there. While you can employ costly debt collection strategies or an agency, consider the forward-thinking action you can take to prevent these payment and training challenges.
Use Automation to Simplify Training and Speed Up Collections
Automating patient insurance verification with a proactive and proven tool can help you, collect accurate payments at every check-in and save staff hours in a day.
Implementing automated insurance verification technology is a solution to reduce staff involvement in benefits verification and therefore, training time. A proven solution can help your staff clearly identify patient benefits and indicate which patient’s insurance information needs to be updated — all reducing the complexities and staff time spent verifying insurance. This approach can help you minimize training time for new hires, reduce overall staff burdens and hours spent on verification and accelerate patient registration.
Implement an automated eligibility verification solution that integrates with leading insurance payers to provide real-time eligibility data and patient responsibility information without staff having to manually research payer websites or call payers. This automation and integration with leading PMS/EHRs significantly reduces the time your staff will spend on manual verification.
Not every automated tool for eligibility verification is one in the same. When researching insurance eligibility automation technology for your practice, here are some key capabilities to look for:
- Real-time verification integrations with 900+ major insurance payers
- Proactive verification, run automatically at multiple patient touchpoints, like scheduling, pre-check and up to 7 more times prior to a patient’s visit, ensuring accuracy
- Fee-free eligibility checks, meaning you can run verification at any time without added costs
- Customizable alerts to help staff quickly verify patient insurance and make necessary updates
- An all-patient dashboard to easily identify insurance issues that need to be resolved
- Hands-on implementation and live training by your vendor
The right verification software should do more than just confirm eligibility electronically. It needs to fully integrate with practice management systems and patient registration and scheduling solutions for complete automation. Keep an eye out for solutions that check all the boxes to maximize revenue, productivity and patient satisfaction. These tools can also benefit your practice by simplifying training and speeding up workflows.
What is a Real-Time Eligibility Dashboard?
A real-time eligibility dashboard gives staff an easy way to review patient insurance details and quickly identify any errors that need to be resolved before appointments. By proactively running eligibility checks automatically up to 7x before appointments, staff no longer have to manually initiate these verifications. Patient eligibility is kept up-to-date, errors are caught early and patient responsibility is accurately determined and posted to accounts – all without staff intervention and prior to patient arrivals.
Why is an Eligibility Dashboard Essential to Success?
The real-time eligibility dashboard gives staff a centralized, easy-to-use interface to review patient insurance information instead of having to access multiple payer portals. Key details like remaining deductible, copays and plan types are displayed upfront without clicking through various menus. Flags and notifications quickly identify any discrepancies or errors that need resolving.
Reduced Time Spent on Verification (by hours!)
With just a few clicks, staff can see a holistic view of each patient’s coverage details. There’s no more toggling between different payer websites, deciphering outdated paperwork or calling payers or patients to track down information. Staff productivity is maximized by reducing time wasted tracking down patient eligibility facts manually.
Reduced Training on Eligibility Verification
Implementing automated eligibility verification can significantly streamline training for new staff. Instead of spending weeks learning the intricacies of various payer websites and portals, new hires can rely on the intuitive eligibility dashboard. The dashboard surfaces verified patient insurance details and responsibility with just a few clicks, without requiring manual research.
With eligibility checks and updates automated in real-time, new staff don’t need extensive training on manual verification workflows. The technology handles posting accurate patient balances and copays automatically based on automated checks. Staff are simply trained on accessing the information on the dashboard and resolving any flagged eligibility errors.
Onboarding is accelerated by removing the need for lengthy insurance verification training programs. New staff can quickly get up to speed on leveraging the dashboard’s accurate real-time data to smoothly register patients and collect payments. By replacing manual processes with automation, your team can focus training on higher value patient care activities rather than administrative eligibility tasks.
This automation and simplified dashboard interface minimizes the eligibility verification workload for staff. Less time spent on manual administrative tasks means more time for patient care and other administrative responsibilities. Easy access to accurate, real-time eligibility data also ensures patient responsibility is correctly determined early and posted to accounts, leading to increased point-of-service collections. This data can also be used to verify patient insurance in real-time as you look to bill patients after a global period of care or later on for whatever reason. Rather than sending a bill based on a batch eligibility report from months ago, you can confirm patent benefits, make necessary updates and reduce claims rejections and roadblocks to payments — meaning you get paid faster.
Embrace Automation to Reduce Costs and Speed Up Patient Care
In today’s healthcare environment, insurance verification should not consume excessive resources or create barriers to practice revenue or staff workloads. Automation enables staff to verify eligibility seamlessly while improving productivity and lowering training costs. When evaluating potential solutions, ensure they provide real-time verification, powerful analytics and simple staff training. Investing in automation pays dividends for years to come by optimizing revenue, operations and most importantly, patient experiences. Learn more about streamlining insurance eligibility verification, download our ebook: “Five Tips For Making Eligibility Easy and Boosting Your Bottom Line Tip Sheet.”
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