Healthcare Appeal Process

Healthcare is such an easy target for BPM opportunities.  I am living one right now.

In December, we had to refill a prescription for my son.  It happened to be 2 days before Christmas.  Since I had switched insurance carriers, Aetna now required a PA (Prior Authorization) for the drug (although my son had been on it for a year).  By the time, I got the message and tried to call the physician, he (a specialist) was gone until the new year.

I had to fill the prescription and pay cash since I needed my son to stay on the drug.  So, in January, I downloaded the appeal form; completed it; had the pharmacist complete it; and mailed it in.  In March, I heard back from Aetna that it was rejected.  Fortunately, after working in the industry, I know that you can appeal it multiple times, and I understand the coding and reject process.  After talking with a call center agent, I had them change some of the notes on the claim to reflect the situation with my physician and appealed it a second time.

It is now May, and I got a letter telling me they haven’t finalized the review process but have received my appeal.  I should know something in 60 days.

This has to be easier.  All parties have to be frustrated.  The Aetna PBM has to spend expensive pharmacist time reviewing these multiple appeals; answering multiple calls by me; and sending me multiple letters.  My employer and Aetna will eventually have to pay a claim from 2006.  I am out the cash and spending valuable time trying to work the process.  And, none of us have much if any visibility into the number of appeals, the average cycle time, the status, and how to change this process.

BPM could help with this in many ways including simply streamlining the process.

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