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Helping Patients Understand their Insurance Policies

Posted on: in [ Therapy Practice, VGM Advantage ]

Helping Patients Understand their Insurance Policies

In a world where even the best could be stumped, words like co-pays, deductibles, and premiums can induce panic and confusion in your patients. As the state of healthcare is in constant flux, patients may not fully understand their insurance policy and the terms of their coverage. So how do we break the barrier so patients can understand what’s happening with their insurance policies?           

Take the Time

If a patient is confused or they raise questions, stop and take the time to answer their questions, or point them in the right direction. This not only benefits the patient but it sets your practice apart when you take the time to provide that customer service to patients.  

Be Up Front

Clear communication and payment expectations before services even begin are ways to prevent delay in payment. When patients call to schedule an appointment, check for any policy changes, and understand what their policy looks like before they arrive for their appointment. During that phone call remind them to be prepared to make a payment the day of their appointment. Establish a payment policy to have your patients read over and sign to ensure they’re aware of their responsibility.

Literature and Meetings

Education is key when it comes to patients understanding their policy. While it’s nice to provide literature and handouts with your practice’s policies and basic insurance information, a face to face meeting with an office representative to review the policy may be best. This meeting can help patients plan for high treatment costs, develop a payment plan or educate them on the terms of their policy. Educate your staff to answer common questions and train them to provide the proper resources. When you have these conversations prior to billing, you are saving yourself, your staff and your patients a headache and potential sticker shock.

In the long run, it may take a little extra time and work to provide this service for your patients. In turn, however, you could improve customer service and potentially reduce frustrating phone calls for your staff and patients, and help you get paid faster. How is your practice handling patients when they’re confused about their insurance policies? What tips would you share with other practices?

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