Sometimes you have to make the tough decision in your practice about whether or not to continue accepting certain insurance plans. While you want to make every patient's visit as welcoming and cost-effective as possible, there are a variety of reasons that could cause you to make the decision to drop a plan. The volume of patients your practice maintains on the plan, changes within the plan itself, and new expenses can make it hard for your practice to be profitable with the plan. But, how do you communicate and manage those patients who are covered by the plan you no longer accept?
How to Tell a Patient You No Longer Accept Their Insurance Plan
How you decide to communicate these changes with your patients is up to you. Your first reaction might be to send a mass email or letter communication to your patients covered by this plan letting them know you are no longer in-network or accepting "plan a". While this might seem like the quickest and most painless way to communicate, you could risk losing customers that wouldn't be affected by the change.
For example, what about the patients who are due to come back to your office, but have changed jobs and now fall onto another plan that you do support. Or, what if their current employer switches plans? With instances like these, you could be causing concern or confusion for patients when there doesn't need to be. No matter how you word your letter, letting them know you no longer accept their plan, without engaging in a conversation with them, will most likely cause them to find a new doctor.
Having a conversation with each patient when they call to schedule their next appointment could help you maintain patients with the plans you no longer carry. When patients historically on a plan you no longer carry call to schedule their appointment your front desk team can confirm their current plan, and have a script prepared ahead of time on how to manage the conversation with your patients. Having a script will help prepare your team to address patient concerns and inform them on how insurance billing and payment for their visit will work this time around. Having the opportunity to engage in an open diaglogue with your patients will give you a better chance to hang on to some of those patients.
How have you managed this scenario in the past? We'd love to hear from your experiences in the comments.
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