I’ve worked in medical/dental offices in various capacities for over 18 years. I’ve been the receptionist, the dental assistant, the insurance coordinator, the patient accounts trainer, the practice manager/administrator, and the consultant, among several other roles and titles.
Currently, I work from home. I listen to recorded calls online from 7 dental practices in CT, NJ, WA, NY, and TN, and 2 orthopedic practices in NE. When people call in to make an appointment, I get to hear both sides of the conversation to make sure that the call handlers are saying what they’re supposed to, providing good service, and not missing opportunities for new patients.
I’ve been amazed at many things over the years working in this field. But lately I’m most amazed at how many people call an office for the first time to make an appointment, and they don’t know what their insurance is, and they don’t have the card with them.
It’s just hard to fathom, to me, that a person would not have that info in their wallet at all times. And if they don’t keep it there for some odd reason, why wouldn’t they have it at the ready when they’re calling an office that they will expect to be billing that insurance? If your method of payment is an insurance company, it seems that would be info you’d be sure to have right there…
So for the sake of the next office you call for the first time, not that any of YOU would lack this nugget common sense already, here’s your free tips…
~Always keep your insurance cards, medical and dental, in your wallet. If you get a new one in the mail, switch them out immediately and you’re all set.
~When you call a new office to make an appointment, have your applicable insurance card available. It’ll just make everything easier for everyone.
Why do they need it? Because generally the office should be calling or checking online for your benefits to be sure they’re current and to be able to let you know what your patient responsibility will be prior to the date of service. It’s to provide you with the most info about what fees you can expect to incur from this service. So don’t be grouchy, just be prepared to share what they need so they can provide you the most accurate info.
Oh…One more tip…
~When it says “this call may be recorded” it means from the time the phone starts ringing til the call ends.
Including when you’re on hold. (“Billy! Stop licking the dog!” or random saucy comments to another party in the room)
Including when you’re choosing options. (“I hate these automated phone systems! *%#@$ and *&*#@” )
And if you’re in one of those states making an appointment for one of those types of office, maybe I’ll hear ya.
What? Creepy? Well, wouldn’t you rather it be me than who knows who else?