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Best Practices For Interacting With Third-Party Payers

by 
Shereen Thomas
September 6, 2023
7 min
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Best Practices For Interacting With Third-Party Payers

As a home care agency, diversifying payers is vital to maintain multiple avenues of cashflow and avoid placing all your eggs in one basket, therefore building solid relationships with third-party payers is crucial for your success. This guide will provide you with practical strategies and insights to navigate the payer landscape effectively.

Read on to discover actionable tips to improve your home care third-party payer knowledge and experience.

What Are Third-Party Payers?

Third-party payers refer to entities or organizations that provide financial coverage and reimbursement for home care services on behalf of patients. This includes all payers besides private pay whereby seniors pay for care out-of-pocket.

These payers can include private insurance companies, programs like Medicaid and Medicare, Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), the Veterans Affairs (VA), and Workers Compensation programs.

Each type of third-party payer has its own specific guidelines, coverage criteria, and reimbursement processes that home care agencies need to navigate to receive payment for the services they provide.

How To Build Successful Relationships With Third-Party Payers

There are many important factors involved when it comes to third-party payers such as credentialing, authorizations, billing, and more.

So let's look at five ways you can strengthen relationships with payers and increase your chances of securing contracts.  

It’s important to know that some of these strategies are not applicable to certain Third-Party Payers, but these are the general tips we can provide based on our experiences.  

1. Understand the Payer Landscape

To build stronger bonds with third-party payers in home care, it's crucial to understand the payer landscape. Familiarize yourself with different payers, their policies, reimbursement requirements, and preferred communication methods.  

2. Prioritize Relationship Building

Allocate dedicated resources and personnel to focus on developing and nurturing relationships with third-party payers. Take a proactive approach by initiating regular communication and addressing concerns promptly. Personalize your interactions to understand their specific needs and demonstrate your commitment to collaboration.

3. Open Lines Of Communication

Establish regular and transparent communication channels with third-party payers. You can implement this by ensuring accurate and timely submission of documentation, including claims, care notes, and care authorization renewal requests. Requesting feedback from third-party payers could also help you fine-tune your service delivery, ensuring it aligns with the needs and expectations of the payers. And lastly, continuously assessing and improving your agency's processes, systems, and quality of care is vital for maintaining a competitive edge in the home care industry.

4. Demonstrate Value

Showcase your agency's strengths, quality measures, and positive outcomes to emphasize the benefits of partnering with you.

Highlight the specialized expertise, well-trained staff, and innovative approaches that set your agency apart. Provide real examples of improved patient satisfaction, reduced hospital readmissions, and positive health outcomes to demonstrate the effectiveness of your care.

For example, VA case workers appreciate hearing about the well-being of the Veteran clients they've referred to you. Moreover, they find it very helpful when providers proactively reach out for assistance in resolving any issues that may arise.

5. Stay Informed About Policy Changes

Changes happen frequently in the third-party landscape, including shifts in rates and policies. By staying informed and proactive, you can demonstrate your commitment. Additionally, this proactive approach can work to your advantage. When changes occur, many agencies make errors, but by being among those who do not, you are more likely to maintain a consistent flow of referrals.

Closing Remarks

The strategies we’ve covered will empower you to navigate the complexities of the payer landscape, establish open lines of communication, and demonstrate the unique value your agency brings to the table.

With perseverance and a proactive approach, you'll forge enduring partnerships, ensuring the continued delivery of exceptional care to those who need it most.

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Making the most of third party payer lines can be a challenge.

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