Medical insurance specialists are professionals that handle a number of essential tasks around doctors' offices and other medical facilities. The typical medical insurance specialist will work closely with patients, insurance companies, and other staff in the office to ensure that all matters regarding charges, claims, and payments are handled in an efficient manner. The specialist is usually proficient with health plans available in the area, how to read and prepare medical bills, and how to determine the proper health care costs associated with any procedure that is performed. Here are a few examples of the duties that specialists of this type are likely to perform on a daily basis.
One of the most important tasks of any medical insurance specialist is to collect and assess the insurance coverage currently held by patients. Going over the coverage with patients makes it possible to determine if any co-pays are due at the time services are rendered or if the insurance provider will cover all costs. This important task helps to ensure that no time is wasted filing claims that will not benefit the patient or the health care provider, and that everyone knows exactly when and how payment can be expected.
The medical insurance specialist also is involved in the review of charges and submitting claims to insurance providers. As part of this process, the specialist also works with billing personnel to ensure that the invoices for services rendered are complete and billed at the correct rates. The data can then be used to prepare insurance claims on behalf of the patient and submit them directly to the insurance provider. When completed accurately, the insurance provider can respond quickly, either rejecting the claim or remitting payment to the health care provider.
It is not unusual for a medical insurance specialist to also have a working knowledge of medical coding. The universal coding is used by most insurance companies to categorize and evaluate submitted claims. Knowing how to code the claims properly helps to expedite the processing and in turn makes it possible for the health care facility to be compensated in a timely manner.
Maintaining accurate and timely information in each patient’s medical records is also an important function of the medical insurance specialist. Doing so ensures that data is on hand to justify any claims submitted to insurance providers as well as creating a platform to document any related correspondence from the providers. Many jurisdictions require this type of detail as a matter of basic standards for health care providers, and as a means of complying with provisions found in local laws.
A competent medical insurance specialist may work in a number of different health care environments. In addition to a doctor’s office, the specialist may work in clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. There are also health care jobs of this type found in public health agencies and private healthcare associations. Essentially, any environment where there is a need to understand health insurance plans and the various types of insurance issues that can arise, the services of a medical insurance specialist are likely to be required.