Patient Scheduling & Prior Authorizations Services

Improve Access to Your Imaging Program with Patient Scheduling and Prior Authorization Services

Patient Scheduling and Prior Authorizations Services

Exceptional Imaging Hinges on Patient Access

To compete in an environment where patients play a large role in their healthcare decisions, you need to give your patients access to the right services at the right time. Because imaging services often serve as the “front door” for the health system or hospital, access to imaging services is critical to your overall growth strategy.

Improve your patient access by enhancing your scheduling and prior authorizations process. Alliance HealthCare Radiology can help implement smooth and comprehensive phone scheduling, online scheduling options, and a comprehensive and accurate pre authorizations process. These efforts can maximize patient satisfaction, scan capacity, and revenue.

Prior Authorizations

Prior Authorizations

The Perennial Struggle

No, it’s not just your organization that struggles with pitfalls in the radiology prior authorization process. Obtaining prior authorizations is an ongoing struggle for most imaging programs. From the time of the order to the time of the exam, there are multiple risks for delays, denials, and duplicate work. As you work to improve patient access and secure reimbursement, these risks pose a real issue.

In today’s changing reimbursement environment, it is difficult for staff to handle the many nuances of imaging exams. There are hundreds of possible clinical exams (exams within the categories of MRI authorization or CT prior authorization, for example). And there are seemingly endless possible insurance prior authorizations, include insurance companies as well as federal-state coverage (Medicare prior authorization or Medicaid prior authorization).

Don’t skim over this important step of the process, and don’t work with just any prior authorization company. Alliance Radiology has been in business for over 35 years, and we understand the challenges and solutions.

Common Issues

  • Often radiology scheduling services are done by office staff (such as medical assistants or referral coordinators), who are typically overworked and experience high turnover
  • Many imaging orders contain errors or missing information which renders them non-compliant
  • Physician offices are often forced to do their own prior authorizations, costing them significant time and hassle
  • Some schedulers struggle with the complexity of the exam request, and need to call technologists to get clarification on the appointment

Impact on Imaging Programs

  • Referral volumes are redirected to the imaging provider who provides easy scheduling and prior authorization services
  • Frequent denials of prior authorization requests and rework of prior authorizations
  • Need to reschedule the patient and/or the patient chooses a different imaging provider
  • Dissatisfied patients, no-shows, patients who do not return again
  • Disrupted scan schedule
  • Loss of patient volume and revenue
  • Delay in diagnosis

How Alliance Helps You with Patient Scheduling

There are many steps from the pre-scan through post-scan. Alliance has experience with all these steps. We manage this process in its entirety at our own imaging sites, as well as many of our joint venture partner locations. If not performed properly, the steps required for patient scheduling and pre-authorization can have a negative impact on nearly every other step in the patient imaging process flow.

In most radiology programs, there are opportunities to improve the performance of patient scheduling and prior authorizations. With an optimized scheduling and prior authorization system that is fully integrated into your existing process, your imaging operation can realize benefits such as:

  • Improved referring physician satisfaction
  • Improved patient satisfaction
  • Increases in referral volumes
  • Increased captured revenue
  • Optimized capacity on the day of service
  • More efficient revenue cycle, such as cash flow improvement and lower labor costs

“Alliance Radiology’s prior authorization services help us reduce the time required for prior authorizations, improve customer service to our referring providers, and compete successfully with other area imaging providers.”

– Operations Manager
Imaging Center in Northeastern U.S.

Patient Preparation – Often Overlooked

We raise the standard for patient preparation within the scheduling and prior authorization process flow. Alliance Radiology performs hundreds of thousands of scans a year. We’ve proven that successful patient preparation and scheduling is a critical component of patient satisfaction and volume growth, and results from a coordinated effort.

Patient Preparation - Often Overlooked

An optimized patent scheduling and prior authorization process includes many steps, as shown in the graphics below.

Reminder call prior to the appointment

Reminder call prior to the appointment

Patient’s preferred appointment time and location

Patient’s preferred appointment time and location

Prescreening questions

Prescreening questions

Ensuring order compliance

Ensuring order compliance

Modality specific patient preparation instructions for successful scan completion

Modality specific patient preparation instructions for successful scan completion

Clinical documents supporting diagnosis, signs and symptoms

Clinical documents supporting diagnosis, signs and symptoms

Medical necessity confirmation

Medical necessity confirmation

Insurance eligibility & prior authorization

Insurance eligibility & prior authorization

Proper patient preparation improves patient satisfaction, increases exam completion rates, and lowers the number of no-shows. Part of Alliance Radiology’s Scheduling services includes the patient preparation components shown in the graphic above.

The Referring Physician Impact

The Referring Physician Impact

Your scheduling and prior authorizations services can directly impact a physician’s decision to refer. The prior authorization process impacts referring physician satisfaction with your services and their future willingness to refer to you. In the referral process, there is the possibility of the appointment being scheduled by the referring office or by the patient.

A scheduling and prior authorizations team that is familiar with the needs of both the patients as well as the referring physician offices is critical to maximizing your success. We create a seamless cooperation between the imaging center’s front desk and processing department and the Alliance Radiology prior authorizations team to ensure the best customer service.

Talk to us today about how to best optimize your services to increase patient access, physician referrals and revenue capture.