Happy Insurance Awareness Day!

National Insurance Awareness Day is observed each year on June 28th. While it might not sound like the most exciting holiday, it’s a great reminder for people to review their insurance policies and make sure everything is in order and up to date.

One easy way rheumatology practice managers can “celebrate” Insurance Awareness Day is by reviewing their medical practice insurance and making sure it’s still accurate. It is far too easy to take a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to insurance, but the truth is that a lot can change in a short amount of time! If you’re not sure whether you should bother reviewing your policies, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, you probably need an update.

Have you hired new staff?

New staff members mean going through the credentialing process. Even if you’ve done your best to simplify the process, there are still many steps to take, and some of those involve insurance policies. Make sure all your paperwork is up to date for each physician, and that the insurance company has responded to all paperwork.

Have you added new services or procedures?  

If you’ve added something brand new—IE, a new technology or new drug—your insurance company might choose not to cover it until it has proven its benefit. Make sure you’re aware of what various insurance companies—both the one you use for the practice and the ones your patients use—cover the treatments and procedures you offer, and let your patients know the facts before you make recommendations.

Has your insurer become insolvent or weak?

Insurers aren’t perfect (far from it!) and if your insurer is going through a rough patch, they might not able to honor your claims. Check to make sure they’re doing well, their business is healthy, and your practice remains in good hands. If you feel that your insurer is not up to a standard that makes you feel comfortable and confident, shop around for a new one. While the process can be exhausting, it’s better to work with someone you trust!

We hope these tips help you celebrate Insurance Awareness Day and keep your practice, patients, and physicians safe.

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

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