INFORMATION MUST HAVES!!!
Written by Tamara Grigg
In order to maximize your insurance collections, there are several pieces of information that need to be gathered and kept updated in your software. There is a list of must-have info that should be collected when a patient comes into your practice for the 1st time and then again at the beginning of each calendar year. However, if you haven’t seen a patient in over a year, you should always ask them if they have updated insurance and personal information. To make it part of your protocols for your front office staff, I would suggest you create a checklist of the needed info to look something like this:
1– Driver’s license
2– Insurance Cards (front and back)
3– Patient Registration
4– Health History and list of meds
5– Sign office policy forms/HIPAA forms
The beginning of Each Year:
1– Ask each patient if they have any insurance changes and get copies of cards if there was a change
2– Patient Registration- in case there was a change of address or phone number they didn’t report
3– Health History and list of meds
It is vital that you keep this information updated on a regular basis due to insurance claims that would be rejected due to changes in insurance or patients’ names that may have changed due to marriage or divorce. If you don’t update this regularly, it will cause a delay in payment from insurance. You may have to call the patient to get the information that is missing/changed and they may not contact the office to give you the information and then the claim is sitting unpaid. Having it scanned into your dental software is always a great reference point to have, having this information saves your staff’s time and the patient’s time by eliminating unnecessary phone calls. As we all know, everyone’s time is valuable and putting this protocol in place would be a real time saver for your office and your patients. Some patients may become agitated when asked to fill out paperwork every year, but when you state the reason for needing it (to get their insurance to pay promptly and prevents them from receiving unwanted bills), they are usually happy to do so!