Care providers encounter patients with more than one level of health insurance coverage – a secondary insurance to complement primary insurance. While secondary insurance has considerably reduced patients’ out-of-pocket expenses and facilitated treatment plans outside primary coverage, billing for two-levels of insurance coverage has not been that easy. Even as certain secondaries to Medicare are enabled with automatic crossover to Blue Cross and Blue Shield and require no additional pursuance, majority of big and small private insurance plans continue to be unlinked with Medicare or Medicaid primary coverage. It is this isolation of secondary plans from primary that makes billing secondary insurance more difficult.
Irrespective of whether primary insurance is automatically linked to secondary insurance, it is the responsibility of care providers to arrange for co-ordination. Often, it is the insurance verification, billing, and follow up department that takes up the responsibility of coordination of benefits. Strangely, a large of proportion of relatively smaller secondary bills is never pursued or delayed till they become ineligible to be reimbursed. The collective value of such omitted secondary bills may be thousands of dollars per physicians. Therefore, with so much of hard-earned practice revenues going unrealized, physicians need to investigate and formulate corrective measures to follow up and realize secondary bills in time.
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