By Kathleen Brasfield, OD
March 25, 2020
Being out-of-network is a common reason patients decide not to visit a practice. Thanks to Anagram (formerly Patch), a solution we implemented in our practice three years ago, that is no longer a concern for our patients.
Anagram is a cloud-based web application that provides a streamlined experience for managing vision insurance benefits for all kinds of eyecare providers, including optometrists, opticians and ophthalmologists. Anagram makes it possible to easily submit claims for all patients, regardless of whether your office accepts the patient’s insurance, or whether your practice accepts any insurance at all.
An Efficient, Streamlined Way to Process Benefits
We are not contracted with any of the vision plans. It made sense for us to find an easy way to accommodate patients who wanted to use vision benefits. We were doing OK at first with paper filing for out-of-network (OON) plans. But the process was cumbersome and antiquated. When I first saw Anagram, I thought it looked great.
Patch Is Now Anagram
Finally, a way to do this that was up to date and seamless. We were still able to call VSP at the time, and it was working well, but we thought Anagram would be an even better way to do it. Calling on the phone and filling out paper forms for patients is inefficient and looks outdated.
Anagram is considerably easier than filing paper claims. Keeping separate forms for each plan, filling them all out by hand, and mailing them, is a huge time suck. Anagram eliminates all of those chores and makes it much more likely that patients will get reimbursed.
Anagram keeps everything in one place and verifies the plans for us. This simple claim-filing process saves us around five minutes per patient. That adds up really fast on a busy schedule.
Capture The Majority of Vision-Plan Patients Who Contact You
Before Anagram, we captured around 40 percent of vision-plan patients who contacted us. Now we capture about 60-70 percent of those patients. Equally impressive, our optical capture rate has increased 15 percent since implementing Anagram. Also, the accuracy of claim filing has increased. When paper filing, we had patients contacting us about not getting their reimbursement. Now that rarely happens. And on the rare occasion it does, we just reach out to Anagram and they refile on behalf of the patient.
We tell people who are scheduling their next appointment or browsing for glasses that we’ll handle their vision insurance claim for them. It makes the business transaction easier for patients, and they love that!
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Patients are surprised and happy when they find out that we can file their OON claim for them electronically. It makes them feel more secure in the insurance process and more trusting of it. Rather than having them fill out a form, which they are not sure will really help them get money back, we can take care of the whole process for them.
Capture High-Value Patients
Many people are pleasantly surprised that they can still visit us even though we aren’t in their insurance networks. They are happy we can file the insurance claims for them. These are patients who don’t mind that they won’t get reimbursed as fully as they would if they visited an in-network doctor. There are always those who want their “free” eye exams and only eyewear that is fully covered by insurance. Those people don’t come to see us, and we aren’t a good fit for those patients.
Our practice is patient-focused. We spend a lot of time with each patient in the exam and optical. We offer concierge service and unique, independent eyewear. The people who want that are willing to pay a little more for that. Anagram helps us get and keep those patients in our office.