The burden of preauthorization is one of the most important parts of healthcare and can be frustrating to handle.

With the pre-authorization process, a patient gets their treatment and simultaneously confirms that they have coverage. However, it is complex and requires a lot of time. This can cause an immense burden on everyone involved in medical care and can put a drain on resources.

Having pre-authorizations completed in time to avoid jeopardizing the delivery of the care per physician is critical. However, it can be challenging for your in-house staff to complete them on top of their current responsibilities. If a practice completes 31 pre-authorizations a week, that’s an average of 2 hours spent on each one. 

Virtual Medical assistants, or VMAs for short, have become an integral part of the healthcare industry in recent years, and rightfully so. VAs can help reduce the time doctors spend on pre-authorization paperwork, allowing them to focus more on their patients.

We’ve created a 3-step process to help you learn how to make prior authorizations easier. Keep reading to find out.

What is a Virtual Medical Assistant?

For our guide to be helpful, we need to review a few definitions. What is an assistant? They play a critical role in reducing your workload and improving efficiency within your business. So let’s take a closer look at what they do and the benefits they provide.

Technology is always changing, which has greatly heightened connectivity in the past few years. This has delivered major benefits to remote workers, as well as the world at large. All they need is a connection to your practice — no matter where you’re physically located in the world. 

Benefits of a Virtual Medical Assistant

1. Simplifying Complex Tasks

Healthcare practice owners have to complete administrative tasks to make time for patient care. It’s important to free up your in-house employees by delegating any outstanding tasks to virtual assistants. These can include anything from data entry to charting electronic health records, and all that’s required is the right strategy.

2. Budget-Friendly

Making money in business can be challenging, and saving wherever possible is important. Virtual assistants save money on labor as they do not require holidays or sick pay. Also, they provide savings on labor costs because they are employed for only one task at a time.

3. Flexibility

Working for long hours can be hard on healthcare workers, leading to burnout and detrimental effects on overall health. Virtual medical assistants handle most of the administrative duties to create more time for your existing staff.

4. Extensive Skills

Virtual assistants in the healthcare industry offer a wide range of skills and benefits to medical practices. Qualified virtual assistants are available for any job, such as medical billing or pre-authorization processing.

Here are three simple steps you can take to increase your pre-authorization.

The pre-authorization process as we know it is a complicated undertaking and one that requires significant focus. To provide world-class care, your medical practice needs to protect your patients’ health. To ensure you never let this happen, our three-step process ensures that the preauthorization is always taken care of:

Step 1: Identify the Problem

Approving a preauthorization is a complicated process involving many steps and this ends up causing delays in getting a medical procedure. Although instant approval might not be possible, the system needs to reduce the approval wait time. Ineffective management of the workload of doctors is usually the cause of this problem.

Step 2: Evaluate the Pros and Cons

There are two solutions to the preauthorization problem: working with in-house employees or employing virtual assistants. Both options come with their fair share of pros and cons, so it’s essential to understand them before making a decision.

In-House Employees: Using in-house employees has the advantage of loyalty to your business. Working with an onsite staff is a more interactive environment, which can result in higher levels of engagement and performance. 
However, there are not many qualified people available locally. The time it takes to find these candidates will increase the time spent on authorization processing for these health insurance policies.

Virtual Assistants: There are a lot of advantages to using virtual assistants. For one, they can complete pre-authorizations much faster than other employees. Also, you can quickly hire the right one to suit your demands. 
Hiring a virtual healthcare assistant also reduces overheads associated with the prior authorization process. The only real con is that due to distance there won’t be as much personal engagement between employer and employee.

After weighing all your options, it would probably be best to hire a virtual assistant to help with the pre-authorization process.

Virtual assistants have the unique benefit of being able to dedicate themselves to a specific task. And because completing pre-authorizations requires an extraordinary amount of time, this is perfect for virtual assistants. Virtual assistants can complete these tasks quickly, which means your clients will get their authorization soon—without any stress or delay.

Step 3: Hiring a Virtual Healthcare Assistant

When it’s time for action, though, hiring a medical virtual assistant is the right step. However, choosing the right one to hire for your practice is essential. Yes, many virtual medical assistants can handle the pre-authorization process. But you need one that will seamlessly fit in with your medical practice.

To summarize

Waiting for a pre-authorization for your patient can cause a lot of anxiety. That’s why it’s important to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete those authorizations. The best way to do this is with a virtual assistant. Hiring a virtual medical assistant will help improve your practice’s reputation and show patients that you care about their needs.

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