Here we are six months out from the COVID-19 initial shutdown and many practices are feeling a second wave of impact from the declared global pandemic. Our remote work with insurance verifications, billing, posting and claims has grown 75% since the initial shutdown, but not without struggle. Because we do remotely what many of you attempt in-house, we feel the same effects you feel. Being on the hook to resolve these issues for our clients requires us to find appropriate workarounds or to innovate our protocols and technology to keep up with an ever-changing environment. Here are the top three reasons why COVID-19 makes it more difficult than ever to obtain accurate, detailed insurance verifications:
SCHOOL TEACHERS WEAR SCRUBS
Much of our increased business has been the result of practices who face unpredictable staffing issues related to COVID-19. Everything from being quarantined because Uncle Harry showed up to little Timmy’s party with a fever and no mask to Suzie at the front desk can’t come in until noon each day because of her homeschool duties. You have chairs to fill but who’s going to do the verification for the two emergency patients coming in this afternoon? It’s impractical to block your schedule only for Tuesday and Thursday when Suzie doesn’t have homeschooling assignments to oversee or grade. Each month we verify over 800 new patients and confirm eligibility for more than 6,000 returning patients who are on practice schedules around the country. When we identify existing patients whose insurance status has changed since they were last in, we get them verified before their upcoming appointment. We show up everyday to get the job done even when your team can’t show up quarantine, homeschool responsibilities or simply being sick. You don’t even need to buy us scrubs.
ROOSTERS CROW ALL DAY
That’s right…roosters. Most major carriers who operate overseas call centers deployed their carrier representatives to working from home beginning in March/April. You will find more static on the line, repeated dropped calls and poorer quality support when you finally get through after longer hold times. Don’t be surprised at all to hear multiple roosters crowing and car horns blaring as overseas teams work from home with narrow bandwidths and dial-up quality internet. Unless your team members are intricately familiar with benefit details and processing guidelines of various carriers, the amount of incorrect information you get will significantly increase. COVID-19 has not changed the fact that we go to bat for our clients when claims are processed differently than we indicate. Our dedicated team of verification specialists focus on getting it right the first time. We are human. We make mistakes. But we couldn’t go to bat for you with the insurance company if mistakes were routine. The reality is that our clients crow about our efficiency and quality.
MUM’S THE WORD
Many of the Delta call centers are not call centers as of April 24, 2020. Everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon to find ways to trim down customer support and blame it on COVID-19. Call centers have become faxback centers. Neither you at the practice nor our remote specialists can get a person on the line. They won’t talk to you. They won’t talk to us. The only phone option for many carriers is a faxback. To understand most of today’s faxbacks you need to crack the code, distinguish between the various processing guidelines and know how to interpret what is provided. Not every Delta Dental faxback is created equal. If you thought carriers camouflaged coverage in 2019, you’re in for a treat in 2020 when you set out to verify the three new patients who are coming in tomorrow morning. You don’t have time to call back for a second fax to request additional codes. Neither do we. Nor do we have the luxury of telling you that the insurance company would not give us the information you need. It’s our job to get all the details and get them right the first time. The landscape changes almost daily. Your patients need you to speak to them, not be on the phone. Let us handle the phone.