Q&A: What to do for patients when you drop their insurers

August 15, 2008

I've decided not to renew my contract with a health plan that brings in lots of hassles but little income. Do I have to notify my patients who use that carrier?

Q: I've decided not to renew my contract with a health plan that brings in lots of hassles but little income. Do I have to notify my patients who use that carrier?

A: You can check your contract to see if you're responsible for notifying them. But even if you're not, it's best to do so. When those patients call for appointments, your receptionist can tell them you'll be happy to see them but you're no longer an in-network provider with their insurer. Have her explain that their copays will be higher - possibly a lot higher - depending on the reason for their visit. Have the receptionist tell patients up front whether they will have to pay the full balance at the time of service and submit the paperwork to insurers themselves. She might also mention which plans you're still accepting, in case they have the opportunity to switch to one of those plans.

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