About 10 years ago, a practice I know posted a message to SOAPM – maybe it was PedTalk! – about hiring a full time staff person to help guide families through their insurance coverage details. Her job is to discuss topics like HDHPs, HSAs, medical credit cards, copays, etc. I remember a handful of incredulous replies and the consensus was that this practice was just doing “too much” for their patients.
I, on the other hand, thought it was a brilliant move. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to pretend that I am brilliant for recognizing their brilliance, it was just a light bulb moment for me. Sure, that employee is an added expense…but an expense that lowers the cost and improves the efficiency of every other department in the practice.
It all boils down to communication and setting expectations. Your patients are not the least bit familiar or understanding of the arcane and organized crime-esque behavior of so many insurance companies – why would they be? The better you can do to explain to their patients their roles and your expectations, the more likely your interaction will be a positive one.
Some of our PCC clients really get it. Here’s an example of a sign that Union Pediatrics created that you should borrow or steal if you don’t have something like this already. Maybe it should be printed on the back of all your statements. Maybe it should hang in the bathroom. I dunno. But if you have a chance to communicate with your patients, take it.
Please, share your examples!