General know-how can save time and help patients

Regardless of the plan, it's essential that your staff handle the care plan rules with a team approach. Patients frequently don't understand their coverage and its restrictions, and they'll ask questions of any employee at any stage of a visit. Although staffers can route complex questions to the billing staff, every person—business or clinical—should be able to give general information correctly.

Even if you think you're a managed care veteran, schedule a formal refresher course in the next three months. If new to some important plans, be sure everyone understands its rules and the impact upon their jobs. It's an overall medical office team issue—not just for the billing department.

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