One of the most frustrating aspects of health insurance is when a payer denies coverage for a test or treatment recommended by your healthcare provider. The reason behind this decision can be confusing and difficult to understand.
However, there are several factors that can lead to denials and a few strategies you can use to minimize these denials.
1. Lack of Evidence
When a plaintiff, prosecutor or defendant brings a case to court, the evidence that he presents is what helps a judge or jury decide whether he is right or wrong. If he does not have the evidence that he needs to win his case, then his case will be denied and he may lose his case.
This lack of evidence can cause many different problems in the world of medical research and policy making. It can lead to researchers overstating results or failing to consider the limitations of their studies. It can also create misconceptions about what is actually known about a treatment or procedure.
In the realm of public health, a large amount of research on various topics is performed to provide information that can be used by policy makers to make decisions. This is important for preventing the spread of disease and improving the lives of people. However, some research results are not relevant to public health decisions.
Clinical trials are a key part of the process of developing new treatments and interventions for patients. They are designed to test the safety, effectiveness and toxicity of these new treatments or interventions. They can be very costly to conduct and require a great deal of planning.
Unfortunately, there are many people who are excluded from these clinical trials because of a variety of reasons. These include:
2. Inadequate Participant Diversity and Inclusion
During the process of conducting a clinical trial, it is essential to ensure that a broad range of people participate in the study. This will help ensure that the trial provides data on a wide range of groups and individuals, so that the treatment is able to be evaluated for its benefits and risks across a wide population.
3. Inadequate Medical Necessity
Another common reason that clinical cases get denied is because they do not have enough medical necessity. The medical necessity of the treatment must be established in order for a claim to be approved by a payer. This means that the physician must document that a patient needs the treatment in order to be eligible for coverage.
2. Inadequate Medical Necessity
Insufficient documentation about the extent of care needed can be a major factor in denials. This can occur when a physician fails to provide enough information about the level of care required and why it’s necessary for patient health, resulting in insurers denying services that have been previously covered. Using InterQual or other evidence-based criteria can help prevent this type of denial.
High out-of-pocket costs are also a huge barrier to patient access, especially among patients who have low incomes. These costs make it disproportionately difficult for people to get the care they need, reducing access and creating an unhealthy environment where people are afraid to seek treatment.
Providing patients with information about the different facilities that can provide them with their medical needs can also help providers avoid denials. This can include educating patients about free-standing emergency departments, which are more affordable and often offer the same level of care as hospitals.
Another way to avoid denials is to ensure that your practice has an insurance verification company, which will verify and validate patients’ benefits and demographic information before billing them. This will go a long way towards preventing denials and ensuring that your practice is able to keep your overhead low.
Additionally, it is important to maintain a robust medical necessity policy. This should be updated on a regular basis and reviewed by all staff members to ensure that it reflects the most up-to-date standards of practice and is in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Finally, a key part of a medical necessity policy is having a strong appeals process in place. This can be done by requesting peer reviews or involving an independent external review organization for higher-level, third-party appeals.
In addition to obtaining prior authorizations and appealing claims that are denied due to lack of medical necessity, physicians should use contract negotiations as an opportunity to discuss the issue with payers. This can be a productive, constructive process that will ultimately result in a resolution to the issue, says Elhoms.
3. Excessive Cost
The cost of denied claims can add up fast – not to mention the cost of appeals and associated follow-up. Those efforts and the time it takes to navigate the complexities of insurance claim submission and approval eat into practice profitability.
The best way to avoid the dent in your bottom line is to put the appropriate tools into place, such as a denials management solution that is fully integrated with your existing practice administration and billing systems. The best part is that it will be tailored to your specific needs.
A well-designed, integrated solution will be able to help you identify the root cause of any given denial by identifying and analyzing the most relevant data points in a timely and efficient manner. This information can be used to provide a more complete picture of your entire patient population, which in turn will help you better predict your revenue cycle.
Managing a denials-related problem requires a holistic approach that involves all the departments within your organization, such as billing, coding, and collections. Investing in the appropriate technology will allow your team to quickly and easily collect on every dollar you’re owed. Getting this process right the first time will reduce your costs and boost revenue to the tune of at least 50%, and in some cases, more.
4. Lack of Prior Authorization
Prior authorization is an administrative process that requires physicians to submit paperwork to health insurance companies in order to obtain approval for certain services and items. The process is designed to prevent unnecessary and costly treatments that can harm patients. However, the process is so time-consuming and complicated that it often results in delays and denials of patient care.
Prior approval is a process that varies by insurer, but it generally involves submission of administrative and clinical information to the insurance company. Typically, this information includes clinical records that support a patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan, along with any other relevant data.
In some cases, the paperwork can take several hours to complete. It can also require a lot of back-and-forth communication between the physician and the insurance company.
Some physicians even report that the process of completing prior authorization forms and dealing with the back-and-forth with the insurers takes up more than an hour of their time per week.
When the time is converted into dollars, practices spend an average of $68,274 interacting with health plans every year! This equates to $23 billion or $31 billion in lost revenue, which is not a good thing for the health care system.
Moreover, physicians who deal with these back-and-forths with the insurance company say that the process often causes a significant amount of stress and frustration on their staff. For example, one practice in Iowa has nurses that spend about 10% of their time completing prior authorization forms.
As the number of drugs and procedures that require preapproval has increased, the administrative burdens associated with these processes have grown as well. Consequently, the American Medical Association is calling for changes to the process to minimize the negative effects on physicians and patients alike.
The AMA has also called for improved transparency of how prior authorization works in practice so that physicians can better anticipate the risks and challenges involved in this process. By promoting a more open dialogue about how this process works, it might be possible to find solutions that balance the needs of both providers and patients.