The Importance of a Medicare Provider Contact Center
Like most health organizations, communication is one of the most important aspects of client and customer satisfaction. Especially, when you’re dealing with something as sensitive as patient personal health information.
Most Medicare providers receive a high volume of requests. But, by becoming a Medicare provider the approach to processing patient requests, and billing properly requires greater attention to detail.
Learn the basics of how Medicare works, why your healthcare organization will want to support Medicare, and finally how providers can improve communication by using a Medicare provider contact center.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that’s designed to help provide affordable medical aid for those in need. Typically, to be eligible for Medicare coverage you need to meet one of the following conditions:
- You are currently 65 or older
- You are younger than 65, but suffer from some kind of disability
- You are suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
Depending upon what you qualify for there are different types of Medicare insurance available:
- Medicare hospital insurance: this covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, home health care, and care in a specialized nursing facility.
- Medicare medical insurance: this will cover things like doctor’s services and treatment, cost of medical supplies, outpatient care, and certain preventive care services.
- Medicare prescription drug coverage: this will add prescription drug coverage that covers either full or partial cost of certain prescription drugs.
Each of the plans above are offered through insurance companies and other private providers that have been approved by Medicare.
The Importance of Becoming a Medicare Provider
If your health care facility doesn’t currently support Medicare patients, then you might want to become Medicare eligible. By becoming eligible you’ll open your doors to a wealth of new patients who rely on Medicare to provide them with necessary medical services.
As the baby boomer population continues to grow older it’s important to be able to continue to offer service. Maybe you’ve been serving patients for years, as they age, they might switch over to Medicare-based coverage. If you don’t currently support Medicare patients, then you’ll force your existing patients to go somewhere else.
If you aren't currently a Medicare provider, here are the steps to become one:
- Get Your National Provider Identifier Number: First, you must obtain your National Provider Identifier Number (NPI). This number will be used throughout all billing and administrative protocols. This number helps to provide an anonymous way to identify Medicare providers.
- Determine Your Eligibility: Not every healthcare facility will be eligible to become a Medicare provider. To become eligible you may need to become certified. Check with your State Survey Agency to see if you meet the current eligibility requirements.
- Complete Your Application: If you’re an institutional Medicare provider and provide outpatient physical therapy, hospice care, or other forms of patient care, then you’ll need to fill out the Medicare Enrollment Application for Institutional Providers form. There may be additional types of enrollment forms required, depending on the type of care you provide.
- Upgrade Your Communications Infrastructure: Finally, since all Medicare payments and claims are made electronically you need the proper billing and administrative infrastructure to make these claims. Any electronic data that’s submitted must adhere to the HIPAA privacy protocols, so you’ll need to ensure your software providers are HIPAA compliant.
Utilizing Medicare Contact Center Software
By completing the steps above you’ll be on your way towards becoming a Medicare provider. However, there’s one final consideration you’ll need to make.
As you deal with aging patients, or patients with disabilities, communication becomes even more important. Not only because you’ll want to ensure a high level of patient satisfaction, but because dealing with Medicare patients requires you to adhere to certain digital communication standards.
By using a provider contact center for Medicare you’ll improve your organization’s ability to handle customer requests, and stay on top of billing practices related to Medicare.
Medicare provides aging patients and those with certain disabilities access to affordable healthcare. By becoming a Medicare provider you can serve patients over the long-term and ensure you don't force existing patients to seek out another provider. Combining your organization's Medicare eligibility with a top-notch Medicare provider contact center you'll streamline your ability to process patient requests while ensuring all communication and billing practices remain HIPAA compliant.
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