Healthcare Huddle: How to Manage Telemedicine & New Challenges during the New Normal
Telemedicine, staffing issues and other changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are uprooting the way medical practices are managed. Obviously healthcare has been thrown through a loop. It took us all by surprise and drastically changed the way practices are run. What are the main issues practitioners are dealing with? The first thing may be virtual staff. Employees are working remotely if possible, and there even may be a reduction in staff members.
To discuss the current state of healthcare and dive into best practices that medical offices physicians can implement, Product Manager Danielle Couch and Sales Executive Lori Roberts joined us to give their take on the industry.
With high unemployment due to the pandemic, practices need to stay on top of patient coverage more than ever due to changes in coverage or a newfound lack of insurance. What do practices need to do to prevent denied claims due to lapse of patient benefits?
Danielle: There is uncertainty everywhere and changes in care no longer occur annually. For some patients, things are changing monthly, even weekly. Providers cannot afford to be working issues on the backend that could have been caught up front. If you can only do one thing before the patient’s visit, verify their eligibility. It is the single greatest value add to your workflow and will supply you the accurate and actionable info you need to feed your workflow.
Lori: Yes, and we know a lot of you are not collecting from patient’s right now. But when you are working to make up volume in the 3rd and 4th quarters, Eligibility empowers your office to collect copays with confidence while also using the patient’s plan information to discuss treatment options and cost-sharing responsibilities.
Practices need to be prepared for anything payers throw at them, and given the change in coding and documentation requirements, things can get a little hairy. If a practice were to see an increase in denials, relative to COVID-19, telemedicine, or anything for that matter, is there anything a practice can equip themselves with to manage these denied claims and further ensure the claims that are paid accuracy?
Lori: Advanced Reimbursement Manager allows practices to audit every claim line to ensure claims are paid correctly, and help categorize denied claims based on denial type to streamline the appeals process. Charge Alerts are set up as CPT codes that could be potentially billed at a higher rate based on what the payer is allowing. Advanced Reimbursement Manager can auto-calculate those rates and find undercharged claims.
Is there anything practices can do to keep the wheels in motion while employees are working from home?
Danielle: One big area where we have been able to help a lot of our practices has been in printing and mailing services. Perhaps there has been downsizing or the front office staff is working from home. With that, they may not have the man power to get their paper claims, statements and appeals sent out. Practices needed a partner who can take their files and mail out the documents to meet timely filing and patient expectations, and we have been able to do that.
Lori: I would say Work Comp Claims. With few people at the office, practices need a way to get supporting documentation to payers along with their claims. Providers need an electronic method to attached records and documents to their claims. TPS provides the tool to easily do this.
With critical revenue on the line, it’s important for practices to seek reimbursement for every dollar they earn. Visit the TPS website to learn how solutions from TPS can help your practice navigate the new normal and gain the revenue you’re owed.