Today I want to explore the benefits and challenges of prequalifying patients prior to their office visit. Often practices are met with challenges determining if a potential patient meets the profile of a bariatric patient, and it can be difficult obtaining that information beforehand. Using your online presence based on our previous work may provide some insight.
There are two ways of qualifying a patient for bariatric surgery that are simple enough, the patient’s BMI existing health conditions, and their financial status or public/private payer. The first and simplest is verifying health conditions. One such method of doing so would be to ask patients to check their BMI before scheduling an appointment, which can be done pretty simple enough by asking a web developer to include this prominently on your website, we do this often enough and at no extra charge.
The second prequalifier is determining payer mixes and loan status. To do this more securely on a website it’s recommended that all connections through the website be encrypted with HTTPS, which makes the collecting of sensitive documents HIPAA compliant. This is easy to do and most agencies including ours include this in their most basic packages, still a hand count of the majority of offices do not encrypt private data. The overwhelming benefit to this simple change is the freedom to collect a finance application on the website without requiring patients to leave to another website. This can save hours of phone time, and increase the rate of applications for trusted lenders, and allow the office a deeper understanding of which lenders work the best with their patients.
Going back to payer mixes, understanding large employers in your geography has it’s benefits. While I have often been met with reservations about listing employers that carry a benefit, it’s been overall helpful in boosting qualified site traffic and is easy to optimize on search engines for employees of those companies and or government organizations.
Having a consistent determined plan to market and effectively reach qualified bariatric patients is not impossible it’s literally two or three things that can yield $20,000.00 in twelve months.