Use New Patient Intake Call Forms to Maximize Reimbursements
- Patient intake is the first step in the chiropractic revenue cycle.
- A thoughtful approach to patient intake can lay a strong foundation for successful insurance claims processing later.
- A scripted form for new patient phone calls can ensure that the reimbursement process goes smoothly for maximum payments and fewer denials.
- For even greater efficiency, consider automating your intake procedures.
Patient Intake — Often Overlooked
Patient intake is a low-priority area for many chiropractic practices. In reality, it’s a critical component of the revenue cycle, particularly for insurance practices. In today’s results-driven healthcare climate, reimbursements are shrinking, so you need to be thinking about ways to maximize yours. One often-overlooked opportunity is streamlining your intake process, beginning with the new patient phone call.
A thoughtfully designed new patient call form anticipates the data you will need for successful claim processing. At the same time, it can eliminate redundant data entry and decrease errors that delay claims processing and result in denials.
The Importance of the New Patient Phone Call
Many chiropractic practices underestimate the value of the new patient phone call. In reality, the reimbursement cycle begins at the moment of scheduling. Think of the new patient phone call as a critical opportunity to lay the foundation for a smooth billing and reimbursement process later.
This step is so important that your practice should create a form that includes scripted questions to be used for all new patient calls. All members of your practice who might take these calls should be trained to use it.
Your form can be printed on paper pads that are placed by every phone, or you can create an electronic version that’s easily accessible to everyone who answers the phone.
Your new patient form should be designed in two parts, with patient demographic information and reason for visit on the top of the form. Think of this as the “we care about you” section. See a sample form below.
The bottom half of the form is where you’ll get down to business and discuss financial matters.
Many people are hesitant to begin the financial conversation with the new patient call. However, since the advent of the No Surprises Act (NSA), healthcare providers, including chiropractors, are now required to ask about insurance information upfront.
What To Include On Your New Patient Call Form
Here are more tips for creating an efficient, optimized intake form that will help avoid reimbursement problems.
Get detailed information about the reason for the visit. Be sure to get an accurate and sufficient explanation of the patient’s chief complaint and related information. The person who verifies the patient’s insurance may refer to this form for that information.
It’s also important that the scheduler has a complete understanding of the patient’s reason for visit so they can schedule the patient for the correct visit type for the appropriate block of time. This is critical to avoid reimbursement issues later if the doctor doesn’t have time in the visit to provide the service a patient came for.
Get payment information upfront. Ask if the patient has insurance or is self-pay. Ask insured patients to get their card so you can help them with the process and save them time later. Include sections for detailed insurance information for major medical, Medicare, accident or injury, and workers’ compensation. Be sure to ask about supplemental insurance, as well. Get all the information that’s available on the patient’s card(s).
Add a reminder to send patient intake forms. It’s always a good idea to have patients fill out intake paperwork before their visit. Whether you mail paper forms, email electronic versions, or use CT InForms, include a reminder on your new call form with a space to check off which method you used so anyone referring to this form later will know where to find the paperwork.
Note for Returning Patients
Your intake process needs to anticipate the information you’ll need for claims processing for both new and existing patients. For example, your practice may have a policy that established patients who haven’t been seen for 90 days are automatically scheduled for a comprehensive exam.
Consider implementing a similar form for returning patients, or some other mechanism that will remind the scheduler to ask the right questions. Documenting the correct information during the intake call will allow you to meet NSA requirements and simplify the claim process.
Improve Patient Intake and Reimbursement With CT InForms
If you’re a ChiroTouch user, you’re already benefiting from a streamlined scheduling process. Your new patient call form will streamline your intake process still further.
Adding CT InForms will make it easier still to prioritize efficient patient intake and maximize your reimbursements.
CT InForms is an ancillary product that works from within ChiroTouch to add electronic functionality to your intake process.
Here’s what you can do with CT InForms to simplify your claims process and reduce reimbursement issues:
Send Patient Intake Forms Electronically Before Visits
With CT InForms, you can send intake and consent forms to your patients upon registration so they can fill them out at home prior to their visit. You can do this via email, text, or through a link on your website.
Patients love the convenience of CT InForms because they don’t need to arrive early for the appointments to fill out paperwork. Billers love it because CT InForms allows patients to take their time filling out the forms, which can greatly improve the accuracy and completeness of their answers — and result in fewer claims problems later.
Automatically Transfer Intake Data to Your Chiropractic EHR
CT InForms features easy drop-down and checkbox items the patient can quickly work through for demographics, insurance information, reason for visit, and review of systems. You can have demographic and insurance data copy directly to the patient record. These features eliminate redundant data entry and reduce errors that can slow down claims and increase denials.
The review of systems is automatically transferred to the patient’s chart so it’s instantly available in the note editor. In addition to allowing the chiropractor to create SOAP notes in 15 seconds, this feature significantly increases the accuracy of chart notes, resulting in fewer reimbursement issues.
Customize Your Patient Intake Forms
CT InForms lets you customize your intake forms to include questions related to the type of care you practice, the gender of the patient, and more. You can also customize with carrier-specific language for consent forms.
Encourage Patient Feedback
With CT InForms, you can send post-visit surveys and questionnaires to your patients. You can then use this valuable feedback to continuously improve your intake process.
Find Out Why ChiroTouch is the Cloud Standard in Chiropractic EHR
If you’re not already using ChiroTouch, learn the difference completely integrated chiropractic EHR and practice management software can make. From intake to billing, ChiroTouch streamlines workflows and improves efficiency in all aspects of a chiropractic practice.
Book a demo today to learn more about what ChiroTouch, the cloud standard in chiropractic EHR and practice management software, can do for your practice.
Material for this blog post was drawn from the webinar Billing and Coding Hints and Tips: Patient Intake – An Important Step to Successful Reimbursement. Our thanks go to Kathy Weidner, certified medical compliance specialist and founder of KMC University.