Effective management of medical claims is an extremely complex task. What make it difficult for insurers to improve the claims operations are the numerous steps and variations involved in each process. As insurance payouts also form a significant part of an insurer’s costs, medical insurers need to discover a better way to reduce claims processing expenses.
However, it’s essential to note that the insurance policy holders’ right to receive fair and equitable settlement and their service needs must never be compromised just for cost-efficiency measures. Medical insurance companies should give more importance to high-quality experience since the satisfaction and loyalty of policy holders is largely dependent on their experience when processing their claims.
Below are best practices for improving efficiency of medical claims processing:
- Use Automation Tools
The key to improving accuracy and efficiency of healthcare claims processing is automation. Insurance companies must take advantage of advancements in optical character recognition and other technologies that may alleviate the struggle that their staff had to endure in the past because of having to utilize different templates for different forms.
Using the right tools, insurers can be confident that no data is missed. That’s because machine learning and artificial intelligence ensure that errors are caught in the early stages of the process. Essentially, the use of automation tools takes accuracy to the highest level to improve the overall efficiency of healthcare claims processing.
- Outsource Medical Claims Processing
When it comes to healthcare claims processing, one beneficial step that insurance companies can opt to take is outsourcing the majority of the process to a BPO agency like Smart Data Solutions. When choosing a service provider to outsource your healthcare claims management, look for one with the right tools and experience required to streamline workflows, both on paper and electronically.
- Prevent Inaccurate Information
The first thing you must understand when learning how to improve healthcare claims processing is that the billing department needs to be as accurate as possible. While this may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that errors on the paperwork can lead to major problems. Most people who have had to pay out of pocket for medical care due to inaccuracies in the documentation simply wish that the system was flawless.
If an error is made, this can cost a company a lot of money. One of the best ways to avoid errors on paperwork is to make sure that your billing staff knows what they’re doing and that they follow instructions precisely. This can be hard to do for some, but in most cases it’s worth it. Most people won’t mind paying for the extra time spent in training their staff because they realize the importance of accuracy. Of course, the utilization of new technologies is also crucial in ensuring accurate information at all times.
- Maintain And Update Patient Records
One very important task that insurers have is to maintain patient files and ensure that all the records are updated and accurate. There are many software programs available that allow you to maintain your medical records in the most efficient way. They’re easy to use, and even though they require more work, they’re definitely worth it when it comes to your patient files and avoiding errors in the claims processing.
- Invoice The Patient Right Away
When the billing process has been completed, it’s important that an invoice be sent out immediately. Not only does this give the patient time to prepare the money, but it will also help the patient know that the insurance company is aware of the payment and that all necessary documentation is in place. The patient will feel more comfortable with the care received, and will have no questions as to what was provided. The invoices can also be kept for future reference if a question should ever arise. Remember that patients are more likely to pay up when they receive the invoice sooner.
- Enhance Quality Control
It’s critical to eliminate claims errors. The problem is that once the claim is approved, the process for billing and collection don’t stop. Posting and recording payments using generally accepted accounting practices can help. It can be a way for you to keep a close watch on your cash flow. For instance, establishing a deposit log for receipts that’s forwarded to the billing department can help ensure that account balances stay accurate.
Following the abovementioned best practices in processing medical claims can streamline and improve the efficiency of the processes involved. By eliminating claims errors, more money can be saved. While completely eliminating claims processing errors is still in the distant future, reducing the errors is possible. If an insurance company takes a dedicated step towards minimizing errors and improving efficiency, it isn’t just the insurer that benefits, but also the insurance policy holders.