By Thomas Handel, OD
March 3, 2021
One of the most common disputes that occurs in eyecare practices involves questions of insurance coverage. A patient is caught off guard when you tell them they cannot use their insurance in your office, or that their insurance does not cover as much of their services and product purchases as they thought it would. Fortunately, there is a new technology tool that prevents these disputes from happening in the first place while giving us a chance to provide patients with all the products and services necessary to ensure their vision care needs are met and exceeded.
ABB Verify, powered by Affinity Analytics, allows my staff to quickly and accurately check each patient’s insurance coverage before they ever walk through our door. We are able then to head off unpleasant surprises and find solutions ahead of a patient’s appointment. This gives us the advantage of making friction-free office visits much more likely, alerts us to opportunities to help the patient to maximize use of their benefits during their visit and increases the efficiency of my staff’s workflow.
A Simple Solution with Tremendous Impact
ABB Verify gives us a way to help patients maximize their benefits, so they are able to fully follow the treatment we have prescribed. ABB Verify sends e-mail and text messages to patients reminding them of their benefits, and gives guidance on how they can use those benefits in an eyecare provider’s office, such as by alerting them to the amount of money available to cover an exam, eyewear and/or contact lens purchase.
The system brings back not only patients who have exam and material benefits, but also those who did not make a material purchase and still have unused material benefits. It also identifies if a patient has a second vision benefit plan, perhaps from their spouse’s employer.
Better for Patients, Better for Staff
Before having ABB Verify in our office, our staff would struggle to quickly verify multiple insurances at once. With ABB Verify this process takes a fraction of the time it once did. This allows our staff to serve patients more speedily and seamlessly, and it frees them up faster to help other patients who are waiting for assistance.
This gives us a great opportunity to both increase the number of patients we can accommodate in our office each day, as well as giving us a chance to provide additional attention to all other patients who are in the office at the same time as those who are checking in or checking out from appointments.
ABB Verify is so easy to use that even new employees are able to be up and running using it within their first or second day on the job.
We have a large practice, so we have dedicated people for retrieving patient insurance information. Now anyone can retrieve that information with little-to-no training. This has been great for our three-location practice with all of our resources, but it would be even more of a necessity if we were a smaller practice.
A Chance to Fulfill More Patients Needs
When patients are not aware of the totality of their benefits, they are unaware of all the services and products at their disposal in your office. This gives a doctor and their staff a chance to ensure the patient leaves with all of the products the doctor has prescribed. For example, in the age of COVID, with many patients spending long hours in front of computers, we can let patients know their vision benefits allow for the purchase of a pair of computer glasses. Or, we can let a patient who is a boating enthusiast know they have leeway in what their benefits cover to purchase a pair of polarized sunglasses.
A Technology Addition with ROI that Delivers
We have easily made up for the cost of ABB Verify by finding insurance coverage that the patients didn’t know they have, and those patients then using that coverage to make additional purchases. We also find a substantial return on our investment thanks to the many patients who come in because ABB Verify alerts them that their benefits are about to be lost if they are not used. Plus, there is the incalculable return on investment of improving the patient experience, freeing up our staff and providing them with a workflow that is more efficient and less aggravating.
Create a Staff that Is More Present for Patients
There’s nothing worse than a patient experience hampered by employees who spend the majority of their time with the patient with their face buried in a computer. ABB Verify increases the speed and efficiency of my staff so much that they now spend less time looking down or away from patients. They can quickly dispense with the task of checking and processing the patient’s insurance. They then can focus directly on the patient, having a face-to-face conversation about the patient’s needs.
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Before we had ABB Verify, it would take us all day to pull insurance for a day when we have two doctors in the office. Now we can pull an entire week’s worth of insurances for upcoming appointments in that same amount of time. In addition to serving patients in the optical, there is an enhanced human element of having a staff that is more present for patients. They can more fully greet and interact with patients. They are less preoccupied with what’s happening on their computer and more available for the people standing in front of them waiting for care and service.
A Chance to Do Better
ABB Verify has given us the chance to be better for our employees and practice operations while also greatly enhancing patients’ time with us. It’s a tool that gives both your patients and your practice what is most needed.