Ask these questions before estimate given
Patients might want an immediate answer about what a service will cost them, but a quick answer isn’t always in their best interest.
"We don’t want to give a quick, possibly inaccurate estimate which could result in an unexpected bill for the patient," says Junko I. Fowles, CHAA, patient access supervisor at Huntsman Cancer Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT. She says patient access employees should ask themselves these questions when giving estimates:
• Could I this turn into a collection opportunity?
• Have I been proactive in seeking ways to obtain a CPT code or detailed description of what is going to be done and where?
For example, a procedure might be done in the doctor’s office versus the operating room, or the patient’s status might be inpatient, outpatient, or observation.
• Do the amounts look off?
If so, Fowles says, "Ask your supervisor or coders to review it before giving it out."