Patient access staff members should shadow employees in the clinical departments they schedule for, suggests Tracey Thole, physician referral coordinator at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA. “Almost all issues that arise are due to lack of communication,” Thole says. “All departments need to work as a team.”
At Arnold Palmer Medical Center in Orlando, FL, managers place patient access representatives in clinical settings. “We’ve moved to a more collaborative approach. Each of us plays an important role in providing an exceptional customer experience,” says Mary Ellen Daley, MHA, CHAM, CRCR, manager of patient business.
The department created an access specialist role. “They are placed in physician practices where there is a hospital-based service,” says Daley. For example, in the pulmonary and gastrointestinal offices, access specialists handle registration, scheduling, insurance verification, and authorizations.
“We also have patient access team members working in outpatient clinics throughout the hospital,” adds Daley. “As part of their orientation, they observe the clinical flow.”
Patient access employees learn the complexities of patient care, and clinicians learn what is required to ensure services are reimbursed. “As the culture has evolved, patient access leadership has been invited to attend clinical staff meetings. Clinical leadership may attend patient access meetings and huddles,” says Daley.
The collaborative approach prevents claim denials. “We are at the point of service and have access to physicians and other clinicians to obtain required clinical documentation,” explains Daley.
- Mary Ellen Daley, MHA, CHAM, CRCR, Manager, Patient Business, Arnold Palmer Medical Center, Orlando, FL. Phone: (321) 841-1576. Fax: (321) 843-6355. Email: Maryellen.email@example.com.