23 Feb On Hold Times Longer in 2016
Insurance Verification Nightmare
Being placed on hold is just part of the day for those working claims in dental offices. The average wait time used to be ten to fifteen minutes which wasn’t good but my latest reports show that wait times have increased to two to four hours in some situations. This issue has not just affected healthcare providers; it also has affected patients who need to know their policy coverage prior to surgery or other treatment.
Is it that insurance companies don’t care about customer service? No. They do care they just aren’t prepared for the backlash of the Affordable Care Act. With thousands more people covered than were prior to the Act a huge surge of calls to the call centers has caused the customer service ratings of many insurers to plummet.
Not only that but reviews for dentists go south when angry patients have to pay more out of pocket because their benefits were not verified prior to services. It isn’t fair but until the insurance companies build a “better mousetrap” we will all be trapped in their inefficiencies.
“All of our representatives are currently assisting other callers. Please remain on the line and the next available representative will assist you.”
This is what you will hear between either dead silence or the same boring musical tract over and over again.
Some solutions to consider:
- Avoid calling during peak hours. Try early in the morning or Saturdays if open.
- Get as much information from online portals or fax and write down exactly what you need to know to create a clean claim and be able to accurately determine the patient’s out of pocket responsibility.
- Get multiple patients information in the one call. Some insurance companies’ time the call and others limit the number of subscribers they will give you information about on each call.
- Create logins and passwords for each insurance company you are in network with to easily access their online portal.
- Try to speak to someone higher up the ladder to see if you can get better service.
- Complain to the state insurance commissioner or state insurance department about excessive wait time.