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June 1, 2010

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  • Get surging bad debt under control with these turnaround strategies

    Uncollectible funds, or "bad debt," is a problem your patient access department can't afford to ignore. With increasing numbers of self-pay, uninsured, and underinsured patients access managers should revamp processes sooner rather than later.
  • Is your verification process up to par?

    Are you certain the patient's insurance is actually active? The earlier in the process you learn this information, the more likely you are to avoid bad debt.
  • Do you think this patient is going to pay the bill?

    Patient access staff at Tallahassee (FL) Memorial Hospital are about midway through implementing new software, which Joan S. Braveman, director of patient access and financial services, says "will really take us to the new level."
  • Combined roles means a streamlined process

    If a patient becomes upset about the amount he or she will owe, Joseph Ianelli, senior financial manager of Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital's admitting department, says that the message patient access staff want to give is: "There is something we can do for you. We want you to get the medical care you need."
  • Are registrars accountable for registration mistakes?

    Without question, the mistakes made by front-end staff can make or break the success of your patient access department. "Registration is one of the important components of patient care," says Debra A. Artwell, manager of outpatient access at Pennsylvania Hospital, part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. "The patient demographics and financial information are data that follow the patient throughout our entire health system."
  • Give assessment tests if these errors occur

    Registrars are given two assessment tests each month, covering updates to policies or payer requirements, at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver. If someone fails a test, the department's patient access coordinator does a one-on-one educational session, and the test is retaken.
  • Eliminate costly gaps in your authorizations

    It sounds fairly cut and dried: If an authorization isn't obtained from a payer, the claim will be denied. However, payer requirements are getting more and more complex and stringent.
  • Put a stop to complaints on call center wait times

    Patient access leaders at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, NY, knew there was a perception by some people that scheduling medical imaging procedures was difficult. What they didn't know was why.
  • ID software means less chance of identity theft

    Over the past several years, patients repeatedly told registrars at Bay Care Health System a Tampa, FL-based system consisting of 11 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities, and services that they were concerned about medical identity theft. They didn't want to provide sensitive identifying information, such as Social Security number, each time they accessed the facility.