The Future of Medical Claims Attachments: Lessons from the Dental Industry

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Electronic submission of medical claims is fast becoming a staple among healthcare providers across the country, particularly as growing numbers of health insurers implement the infrastructure necessary to receive and process claims electronically. In an already complicated process of managing electronic patient medical records and health insurance reimbursement details, every bit of increased efficiency helps. In the dental industry, a proven way to save money and save time has been implementing the electronic attachment solution FastAttach®.

Using the same FastAttach® application, also available through MEA for providers dealing with medical claims, EmblemHealth’s dental division was able to digitize 100% of their dental claim review and approval process. Processing electronic insurance claims and attachments costs at least 40% less than traditional paper solutions. This change significantly increased efficiency and reduced costs. In fact, the program was so successful that the health group approached MEA to build on their dental success and bring a similar platform to their medical claims division.

The basic premise of electronic attachment solutions is to aggregate attachments into one repository where both internal and external consultants can easily and securely view them. FastAttach® works in conjunction with any electronic claims clearinghouse and doesn’t require any cumbersome programming. Submitting electronic attachments is an efficient way for payors to control administrative and storage costs, increase their claims volume, and comply with government regulations. Considering that 15% of claims arrive with supporting documentation, having a streamlined way to handle huge amounts of information can be invaluable.

It isn’t surprising that EmblemHealth looked to expand electronic attachments for medical claims after the impressive results in their dental division. They reported increased efficiency in terms of quick document return, fewer calls from providers, elimination of lost records, and better access to supporting documentation. They also implemented a solution to deal with dental x-rays arriving in their mailroom and automating receipt of digital attachments according to industry formatting and security standards.

This attention to detail will be even more important in medical claims moving forward, with expected changes to Medicare documentation requirements and related government regulations. The requirement of standardized formats for medical electronic attachments means that streamlining the submission process with technology like FastAttach® will make things easier on providers and payors and decrease the likelihood of lost documentation and mistakes – not to mention increasing the percentage of claims submitted electronically.

The success of FastAttach® in the dental world has demonstrated the potential for even greater success among other parts of the healthcare industry. We are fast approaching a new era when it comes to e-filing, documentation and coding, viewing systems, and even HIPAA laws. When it comes to electronic medical claims, the future is now – in electronic attachments.