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Standardize and Automate Your Healthcare Provider Onboarding Processes

This guest blog post from Verity, A HealthStream Company, is part of a series on strategies and methods to accelerate reimbursement based on a recent webinar with Verity’s Dawn Anderson, Senior Manager of Client Success Services and Consulting, and Cheryl Cisneros, Manager of Client Success Services and Consulting.

New providers often feel inundated with countless requests for the same documents, driving down provider satisfaction. Meanwhile, the individuals responsible for provider onboarding are doing their best to complete applications with the systems that are in place. What if something could be done to improve satisfaction and efficiency for both?

The more organizations can coordinate internally, the better those who are driving your organization forward are able to accelerate reimbursements and narrow the timeframe it takes to bring a practitioner forward. Standardizing and automating your onboarding processes can lead to significant improvements in these areas and save your organization time and money.

Standardize Onboarding Processes

Aligning your onboarding procedures requires strategic changes in existing processes and often the creation of new methods. The central goal to keep in mind when evaluating current processes is that your organization should have a single port of entry to onboard all providers. The following action items will work to achieve success in meeting the goal:

  • Implement a single intake process for all employed, independent, and contracted providers.
  • Instead of having multiple applications, use only one application that can feed all downstream users who need the information.
  • Request all required documents at one time and utilize a software solution which provides access to the information to users as defined by your organization’s business rules.
  • Utilize an online portal to complete the application(s) as well as upload required documents to achieve a paperless process.
  • Pre-populate applications, utilizing data from your software solution database.
  • Integrate with various software solutions that may already exist in your organization.
  • Identify one point of contact for the provider to help them successfully navigate the onboarding process.
  • Provide onboarding status updates to the provider using your online portal.

Automate Applications

Automating your applications will create more efficiencies and accelerate your reimbursement. To do this, a common portal is ideal so that you can create workflow processes that get the information to the people who need it. From there, using the information from your provider enrollment database solution, you can automate the application submission with the Internet-based Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS), Medicaid web portals, and the commercial payers. The days of completing paper applications by hand and obtaining a signature for each one is behind us.

From here, you can save a lot of time by batch updating your systems—when your insurance policies or various other data are changed, your entire system can be updated at once. If there are primary source verification tools within your systems, this allows you to save money and keep an eye on your expirables. With all the information in one system, it is easier to keep track of your files and prevent things from slipping through the cracks.

Don't Miss Opportunities to Save Time and Money

In the Verity 2017 Provider Enrollment Survey, the results showed that many organizations continue to credential without automation tools. Although the use of commercial vendor software increased sharply over the past year, so did the use of Excel spreadsheets, calendar alerts, and Word documents.

The more that organizations eliminate using such methods and start relying on software which was created to help accelerate enrollments, the quicker they will have access to revenue.  A perfect example is by looking at the results of utilizing PECOS in place of the Medicare paper enrollment application. The Verity Survey revealed that nearly half of all respondents use a combination of paper and PECOS, and since 2016 the use of PECOS decreased while the use of paper forms increased. Medicare reports that by using PECOS, they’ve seen people decrease the amount of time it takes them to obtain Medicare approval by almost 30 days, resulting in accelerated reimbursements.

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