It’s that time of year again….time to update patient insurance information.
Lack of accurate insurance information is always a challenge but particularly as we begin a new year. Patients may change insurance carriers at the end of one year in preparation for the next. They often neglect to inform their Hospice or Home Health provider of these changes. In order to help ensure that the billing process is accurate and timely, it is critical that insurance information be correct.
Best Practices for Updating Patient Insurance Information
A good practice for Hospice and Home Health agencies is to request copies of insurance cards during the month of December. You can draft a letter that can be sent or delivered to patients and/or responsible parties requesting that copies of cards be provided. Include a postage paid envelope when appropriate.
Or Hospice and Home Health staff might have the ability to scan cards via a portable scanner or take a photo of the card with a cell phone to transmit to the office. This will eliminate the need for patients and/or responsible parties to have to obtain a photocopy.
Lastly, make it part of your process in December that all caregivers obtain a copy of the insurance card for patients who are seen in their own home or a facility. This may also be a good time to update other demographic information.
Insurance Eligibility Verification
At the beginning of 2017, the agency staff responsible for revenue cycle management should perform Eligibility Verification of all insurance information for your patients via verification software, carrier website or portals. This process should be completed before any claims are submitted for charges incurred after January 1, 2017. As a result, your agency will reduce claim rejections, denials and allow you time to obtain and update insurance information for patients identified with expired policies. However, failure to complete this process can result in payment delays and potential bad debt.