Explore this issueMarch 2014
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It is essential that every physician practice verify the insurance eligibility and benefits of patients before services are provided. There are many missed opportunities to secure income and reduce staff time when patient eligibility is not verified at the time of check in. Training staff to complete this task can help boost revenue at time of service and save time on the back end.
As a general rule, new and returning patients should always bring their insurance identification card to every visit. The front desk staff is responsible for checking in patients and should make it a priority to check the patient’s insurance carrier to ensure the information on the card is up to date and correct for that date of service. This can often be accomplished by checking the insurance carrier website or calling a benefits representative. Some practice management systems and clearinghouses can verify patient eligibility. If staff encounters problems with a patient’s insurance verification, policies should be in place to have the patient pay for the services in full and file the insurance claim themselves. For those with financial need, there should be an option for patients to make payment arrangements.