Word of mouth can be a strong driving force for referrals to your practice. For this reason, you should always treat your patients with the same care and respect you would expect for your own family. However, you already knew this! Let’s talk about a referral source that you may not be utilizing fully; the payor participating provider manual.
When an individual signs up for health insurance they are mailed two things
1. A copy of their new identification cards; and
2. A copy of the participating provider manual.
It is imperative that your information be correct in the provider manual. Not only does this manual come in print form but it also comes electronically on most payor websites. This is a vital resource to your practice. While word of mouth is the number one referral source for most physicians, the provider directory is a close number two for new patient referrals.
New Patient Decision
Some physicians have been in network with the same insurance companies for years. During that time, they may have moved their offices, changed their business hours or even added a second or third location. If you have not updated the insurance companies on these changes, you are not utilizing the provider directory to your advantage. Some patients use the directory simply to see who has the best office hours. Others look for providers close to their home or their job. Others are looking for very specific things like how many years you’ve been in practice, if you’re board certified or double board certified.
It is important that you update these publications yearly. It is also very important that you have someone log on to each online directory and check that your practice information is correct. Not only should you be listed, but all of your partners as well.
Hiring a credentialing company to complete these tasks for you is imperative. A credentialing company can quickly and easily update all directories and check the directories to ensure you and your partners are listed correctly, as well as all of your practice locations. Don’t waste this valuable resource. Contact an experienced credentialing company today and have them perform this due diligence to ensure you are not losing referrals over such a simple thing as an incorrect phone number or your partner being omitted from the directory altogether.
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Cynthia Young, the former CEO of STAT, is a national billing, credentialing and practice management consultant. STAT is a U.S.-based, national provider of credentialing, payor enrollment, rate negotiation, and other credentialing related services.