Information I have is that most insurance companies have shut their doors and have asked employees to work remotely from home. Although I have still been able to reach, and speak to, claims reps, I’ve had to be persistent with phone calls. Some handlers are only checking their voice mails intermittently and can’t get back to you in a timely way.
What this means is that insurers will have a hard time processing information and communicating with insureds in a timely way. This probably isn’t a good time to submit new claims. In my opinion, although insurers will attempt to “work with” insureds and give extensions for completed paperwork, we ARE nearing the end of the 1st Qtr. profitability reporting and those claims in the works for denials may still be denied.
It is also not a good idea to begin contacting insurers by phone when in the past you have requested “all communications in writing.” Once contacted, claims reps may take advantage of having you on the phone and begin an interview you did not intend.
Nearly all of my client treating physicians have either closed their offices to all but emergency situations, or have opted for video conferencing and/or phone conferences instead of direct office visits. DCS is recommending that all insureds keep accurate records of video or phone visits with physicians, including what was discussed and recommended.
It is very important that insureds remain in “regular and appropriate care”, therefore, I am recommending that insureds abide by the alternatives treating physicans are offering. For doctors offices that have shut down without alternatives offered, communications should be faxed to insurers informing the shut down, particularly if current appointments were pendiing.
Communication with insurance companies will be the key. Whatever alternative your treating physicians have chosen, it is important for insurers to know why they won’t be receiving updated patient notes and other requested information. Several patient records facilities have actually shut down entirely and won’t be sending any medical notes at all. You can’t send what you can’t get access to.
Clearly, those who have disability claims will need to work through different procedures and processes in the near future. Due to the large campus facilities most insurers have, it is likely they will be dealing with their own staffing and administrative problems.
I will continue to keep insureds informed as new information is given to me about insurers, claims, and general procedures.
Please take care of you and yours and remain healthy and safe.