Simplify the Cumbersome Preauthorization Process in Your Healthcare Practice in 3 Easy Steps

An image of a healthcare virtual assistant helping in preauthorization processThe preauthorization process is a cumbersome yet necessary procedure in any healthcare practice. Unfortunately, it is needed to make sure your patient gets the necessary treatment while making sure of their coverage. Yet while assuredly necessary, this complex process is time-consuming and puts a strain on a medical practice’s already stretched-thin resources.

While it makes sense to strive to simplify the preauthorization process, this is not as easy as it may sound. In most cases, staff already has their time stretched to the limit simply dealing with normal administrative processes. An average practice, for example, may have to go through over thirty preauthorizations weekly for each physician. Considering the time it takes to complete one such process, the accumulative time in completing all these authorizations cuts into your staff’s working hours. They could spend these hours doing something else.

A solution to this problem is the hiring of medical virtual assistants, which in recent years has gained popularity within the healthcare industry. These medical virtual assistants, often boasting a multitude of skills, may help ease the preauthorization process burden. Yet these medical virtual assistants need to fit into your practice’s larger strategy, meaning proper planning is key.

Benefits of a Medical Virtual Assistant

Given the rapid pace at which technology changes, connectivity is often almost instantaneous. These rapid technological strides have made remoting working so much easier. They have also given rise to the creation of specialist roles in various industries. Medical virtual assistants are one of these. All a medical virtual assistant needs is a good internet connection, a laptop, tablet, or desktop, and a connection to your healthcare practice.

A medical virtual assistant can help your practice flourish. They could, for example, play a critical role in your preauthorization workload, thereby giving your in-house staff more time to spend on the daily activities needed to smooth out a busy practice’s processes and procedures.

This simple setup has multiple benefits that include:

Easy Delegation

Your medical virtual assistant will significantly lighten your practice’s general workload. Besides doing preauthorizations, you can also decide to delegate simple tasks to them. Examples include data entry or keeping medical records. This allows you to free up some of your in-house staff’s time to focus on other areas of your business while still ensuring everything gets done.

Bigger Savings

A healthcare practice, like any other business, has overheads. Often, we do not see large profit margins. Every penny counts. One of the major costs in medical practice relates to salaries. Employing a medical virtual assistant could, however, significantly lower your labor costs because you employ them for one task only. This is a significant saving on having to employ someone full-time with a salary and benefits. These contracts do not include taxes, sick pay, or even paid holiday leave. You get exactly what you pay for.

Flexible Hours

In the normal course of events, you may find yourself working long hours to keep up with patient demands. You cannot expect your in-house employees to continuously work these long shifts. It could result in both mental and physical health issues. Here a medical virtual assistant may pick up any slack. They can work during those times when your normal staff are off duty. You could even employ more than one to take on shifts during this time. This allows you to ensure your employees’ health on the one hand, while sustaining your practice’s productivity on the other.

Skilled Workers

No medical practitioner can safely say that all their in-house employees have all the necessary skills needed to run their practice efficiently. While they could learn additional skills while working, this is not always feasible because time is usually of the essence. Here a medical virtual assistant may provide invaluable support because you can pick from a variety of assistants with diverse skills to fit your needs. This includes professionals well-versed in preauthorization processing.

Cool Blue VA medical virtual assistants have extensive knowledge in billing and insurance. When going through our hiring and training process, we strive to make sure that our candidates have experience in billing and insurance departments. Many have years of experience working with established insurances or have worked with private practice billing departments.

The assistance a medical virtual assistant could provide to the successful running of your practice is invaluable. But specifically, they make prior authorizations easier in three ways.

The 3 Steps That Make Preauthorizations Easier

Every effective business decision needs cohesive planning to ensure success. Part of this process, the preauthorization procedure, takes up time, yet it is necessary to ensure patients are able to afford needed procedures. And the success of any practice relies on your ability to ensure the health of your patients. Our experienced medical virtual assistants are well trained in assisting your practice with the 3-step process to allow you to achieve preauthorization quickly and efficiently.

Step 1: Problem Identification

The preauthorization process is not only long but also complex. Because of this, many patients find themselves having to wait for an extended period before approval from their insurance company. While your patient may not expect immediate approval, the red tape involved could cause a considerable delay in much-needed procedures or treatments. Furthermore, you and your staff may already feel overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks associated with a medical practice. But by enlisting the help of a medical virtual assistant, you can take pressure off your existing staff while ensuring the completion of these authorizations.

Step 2: Evaluation

As a medical professional, you have two alternatives regarding preauthorizations. You could either keep it in-house with an existing employee doing the task or enlist the help of a medical virtual assistant. Each, however, has benefits and disadvantages.

Existing Employee

When assigning this task to an existing employee you will probably feel assured of their loyalty to your practice. There is also the benefit of dealing with them in person. But employing someone with the existing expertise is sometimes challenging. Furthermore, taking time to find someone with the needed skills could increase the pressure on existing employees while causing delays in authorization procedures.

Medical Virtual Assistant

There are many medical virtual assistants with the needed skills at your disposal. You can quickly find the right person that will fit into your practice’s dynamics while knowing they have the skills you need. In so doing, you will see a reduction in the time needed for correct preauthorization submissions and, therefore, feedback. You would not, however, have the same in-person contact with your medical virtual assistant as you would have with someone who works in your office.

What you need to keep in mind is that completing a vast number of preauthorizations is a labor-intensive, time-consuming task. A medical virtual assistant, however, has fewer other tasks, and so is better able to focus on the task before them. This may also lead to preauthorizations that are completed quicker than when done by a staff member in your practice.

Step 3: The Hiring Process

Preauthorizations, in many practices, is a burdensome process that takes time away from fulfilling other much-needed tasks. Hiring a medical virtual assistant will make this process so much easier while freeing up your staff to get on with the business of running your practice efficiently and effectively. At the same time, your patients will see a quicker authorization turnaround time, which promotes the reputation of your practice. But you need to pick the right person that will effortlessly slot into your practice’s dynamic. Fortunately, there are many of these professionals to choose from.

In Closing

The preauthorization process often causes anxiety in patients. It is time-consuming and can delay needed procedures. But by reducing the authorization process time, you can significantly reduce their worry. Employing a medical virtual assistant can help you do just that. By providing your patients with the needed care but at a faster rate, you will also see your practice’s reputation improve. In these days of ever-advancing technology, the hiring of a medical virtual assistant makes perfect sense. And here at Cool Blue VA, we can help you with this. Contact us at 714-695-8000, and we will discuss the dynamics of your practice and match you to professionals among a wealth of talented medical virtual assistants.

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